Our first Thanksgiving on the island seemed strange. After all, I was accustomed to Puritans and northern Indians, a barren November landscape, food designed to warm the body and ward off chills. Here on the island Thanksgiving is often celebrated wearing shorts and sandals, in tees and tank tops. The food is lighter and less filling, fit for warm weather. Eventually I came to understand it doesn’t matter what the participants wear or what they eat—what’s important is what’s being done. The harvest is in, whether that harvest is northern crops or southern cotton and sorghum. God has manifested once again his bounty and his love. Our giving of thanks has nothing to do with dress or the formality of service; it is intended to be a sincere acknowledgment of our dependency on God and his open hand of generosity. Thank you, Lord, for the bounty you share with us throughout the country and the world. May we share this bounty with one another as you have been generous with us. May we praise and thank you for all you bestow. May we make each day a day of giving thanks to you. Amen.

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