Three years ago I wrote a very emotional reflection about the American holiday known as Thanksgiving. This time in my life was an incredibly tumultuous period which catapulted me into a transformational journey in which I am still participating in to this day. Looking back at where I was three years ago is a very humbling experience. Having one's reality changed so drastically in such a short period of time is like throwing a baby out of a crib. I would never wish it upon anyone, but at the same time, I would never wish for anyone to knowingly avoid it. One cannot stay in a crib his or her whole life. Growth makes the accommodations too small and uncomfortable. The time to leave the crib came for me whether I wanted it to or not. And now I am here.
To commemorate my journey, I offer an alternative viewpoint on how to approach this dark and myth-ridden holiday, coming from the hearts of a heroic people.
Whether you believe in God, the Great Spirit, or even nothing at all, I offer you my thanks for what you offer the world in your own dance of life. Even more so, I offer my most sincere thanks for all who have helped me in this incredible journey, my life. Navigating in the dark is sometimes scary, but with support from others I have stayed strong. Personally, the past couple of years have been rather troubling. Mental and physical meltdowns have brought me closer to hopelessness than I ever deemed possible. Even so, with every setback, I received love from different sources--friends, family, or even people who I have never even physically met before--all of you have helped me become strong again.
There is something special about going through a dark tunnel and coming out the other side. Colors are much more vibrant, and life is more miraculous than ever. I am grateful to experience hardship, and in feeling these hardships, I have come to realize that so many others experience darkness, often much darker than anything I will ever endure.
I could keep going on, but really, I would just like to thank you. From the depths of my heart and soul I offer you my love, no matter how different or similar we may be. You are all special, I have learned greatly from our interactions, and I am blessed to have you all in my life, physically or digitally.
- Teddy Grahams
"We return thanks to our mother, the earth,
which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams,
which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs,
which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and stars,
which have given to us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun,
that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit,
in Whom is embodied all goodness,
and Who directs all things for the good of Her children."
- Iroquois -