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These words from Mary Oliver, in her poem “Rice”, speak to me in so many ways. On this day of Thanksgiving here in Canada— its feasts and celebrations rooted in a complex mix of both indigenous and settler traditions, including the bounty of the harvest — Oliver’s words call to us to be grateful for the abundance in our lives, and to reflect on the food we eat, its connection to the Earth, how it came to our table — perhaps through the labour of others and perhaps through the foods we grow —  and to the mud and soil from whence it came. 


It grew in the black mud.
It grew under the tiger's orange paws.
Its stems thinner than candles, and as straight.
Its leaves like the feathers of egrets, but green.
The grains cresting, wanting to burst.
Oh, blood of the tiger.

I don't want you just to sit down at the table.
I don't want you just to eat, and be content.
I want you to walk out into the fields
where the water is shining, and the rice has risen.
I want you to stand there, far from the white tablecloth.
I want you to fill your hands with the mud, like a blessing.

― Mary Oliver, from New and Selected Poems, Volume One

On this day of Thanksgiving in Canada, I invite you to reflect on gratitude… and the food in your life, as for many food security is a a challenge. If you can, donate to a local food bank.

Thanksgiving Blessings

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