Thanksgiving

One of my favourite contemporary books is Michael Crichton’s Timeline. It is about multiverses and time travel between them. I realise that in Toronto people occupy multiverses in the same era.

This is our Canadian thanksgiving weekend. There are as many events and expressions of thanks, as there are people. I use the radio as my litmus test. Until a few years ago, the week leading up would be replete with tips on cooking turkey. Psychologists would offer advice on gatherings in dysfunctional families, on negotiating relationships and maintaining civility on that one day. There would be tips for those who had no one to spend the day with. Everywhere I turned, talk would be about the joy and travails of cooking that much loved and feared meat. I have never tasted it but have it on good authority that it is fibrous and only as good or as bad as the ingredients that are stuffed into it. Of course the hooch that is imbibed prior to the turkey being eaten, probably takes the edge off.

I do not hear too much of that any more. People love having the Monday off to congregate with family and friends over dim sum or a barbecue, offering prayers at their gurudwaras or temples or spending alone time just driving into the country to enjoy the early fall colours. In my office alone, we have over 20 different cultures represented and they each have their own expression of the holiday and turkey only figures in some. I hear a lot of stories about people opening their doors for a meal, in true pioneering spirit, to complete strangers, Canada’s newcomers. So the traditional gathering which was somewhat exclusive is now acceptably inclusive. I hark back to a time when our daughter felt odd person out because we did not celebrate traditional thanksgiving at home like the rest of her schoolmates!

I will be enjoying a simple South Indian potluck buffet with close friends, following a study group of a Sanskrit text. But like everyone else, I will turn my mind in gratitude to the bounty that is my life in a wonderful country whose peoples’ warmth and good cheer thaws the coldest of days! So turkey or no turkey Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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