Himalayan Thanksgiving

For the longest time I gave America credit for being the only nation in the world that celebrated Thanksgiving. After all where else are you going to find cranberry sauce, yams, baked potatoes, turkey and gravy, and of course the crowning glory “Moms Apple Pie” all on one table at the same time?

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. The one when the weather would just start to turn cold, the trees would stand bare against the deep blue sky, the days would shorten and the smell of wood burning stoves would fill the air all across New England.

I would make my way to my tiny farm in New Hampshire year after year just to feel this sense of home, hearth and heart. It was a time of peace, of family and of sharing it with special friends.

It’s been three years since I celebrated a Thanksgiving on the farm or for that matter in the United States. I have all but forgotten what it feels like to find myself in front of a fireplace and smell a house filled with the amazing aromas of the best of the American culinary tradition; but I can tell you I have never missed a Thanksgiving.

Last year at this time I was with the people of Nepal and my friend Ana high in the Annapurna range of the Himalayas and just before arriving there we found ourselves in the ancient city of Bhaktapur, the original capital of the Khatmandu valley, during the Nepalese equivalent of  Thanksgiving. The locals were celebrating it as they had every year for the last few thousand; rejoicing in a successful harvest and celebrating the abundance of grain that would sustain their families through the winter.

Looking back on that celebration I am reminded of how all of us around the world are so much alike. That deep down in the center of our souls we all sense a feeling of gratitude for something received without deserving it. People around the world have been celebrating harvests for centuries because they are compelled to remember that mercy plays a part of our existence; be it the mercy of nature, the mercy of God, or the mercy of another human being we are all in the enviable position to thank someone or something for our survival year after year.

 “Mercy” is by definition “the compassionate treatment of those in distress and Thanksgiving is a perfect time for all of us to demonstrate the power and humility of being merciful and to offer our thanks by sharing mercy to those who need it most. The poor, the left behind, the abused, the marginalized, the ones hoping for a harvest of compassion that we have the power to deliver.

This Thanksgiving I invite you to consider joining with me on November 27th, GivingTuesday, to offer your Mercy to someone praying for it. http://orchidsoflight.org/whats-happening-giving-tuesday/

We send you our  warm wishes for a peace filled and merciful Thanksgiving. God Bless always, Rich and Elodie


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