The start of November always gets me thinking about gratitude.
I’ve been traveling through the Midwest these past several months and I’ve developed a new appreciation for FOOD. During the late days of Summer, everywhere I traveled were fields overflowing with corn, wheat…. and livestock. The rural areas of Indiana and Ohio have an abundance of farms (yes, there are farms all over New England as well, but not on such a grand scale).
For an urban New England dweller like myself, the open landscape is a liberating experience in itself. Fields and crops – punctuated by dirt access roads – stretch as far as the eye can see. Mostly flat terrain for mile, after mile, after mile. Rather regularly you come across the farmer’s homestead which features several silos, and at least a couple barns and outhouses. During the warm Summer days of August, the air is thick with the smell of fresh-cut grass, and pungent smells from the farm (you know what I mean!).
It’s hard not to feel your senses explode when you’re out in the countryside. There are definitely less distractions (especially if you’re out of cell-phone range). I found myself stopping to breathe in the air, feel the sun, enjoy the quiet. But, these senses change as with the season…
The abundance and warmth of Summer have retreated behind cool Fall days of “reaping”. The fields have now been harvested and already prepared for next years planting. The sun feels weaker. The light has a darker, more golden hue. The vibrant smells of cut grass and manure have been replaced by a dankness of peaty earth (and still, manure). Shadows stretch as the sun sinks closer to the horizon…
Seeing this landscape change got me thinking – and appreciating – the amazing amount of work (and nature) which goes into providing the food we enjoy – and there’s no better time than Thanksgiving to express gratitude. Our farmers work the soil hard. Every day there is work being done as part of the continual process of sowing and reaping. Countless other individuals take the harvest and convert it into food for our tables. And, let’s not forget the vital role nature plays as well.
In a few weeks, we’ll enjoy a bountiful feast at a table with those we love, giving thanks for our many blessings. If it crosses your mind, give a thought to each plate on the table. Think about the work, the ingredients – and amazing process – which went into providing that food. And give thanks.
What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food? Share your comments below – I enjoy hearing from you!