November is a month to remember all we are thankful for. Veterans Day reminds us to remember our veterans who have sacrificed, and Thanksgiving Day reminds us to offer gratitude for the many gifts in our lives.
Election Day on Tuesday, November 6th is also an important time to lift our voices in expressing gratitude through our actions. I am thankful for the right to vote– for all the suffragists who put their voices and bodies into the work of expanding democracy for U.S. citizens. I am grateful for people who continue to challenge voter suppression, knowing that we still have work to do in our times.
I will show my gratitude on November 6th by voting and giving rides to the voting booth to anyone who may need this. I urge you to join me in the most important action of voting on this day (and reach out if you need a ride).
As we explore the theme of gratitude this month, I also invite us to move beyond the verbal expression of thanks, into reciprocal relationship with the sources of our thanks. Allow gratitude- for people, food, water, animals, freedom, and more- to fill your heart, and then listen to what it asks of you. Robin Kimmerer, an indigenous woman and botanist, writes in her book Braiding Sweetgrass about the Honorable Harvest- how we can live with the earth and all beings in a covenant of reciprocity.
Drawing her lessons from the daily gratitude practices of native people, she writes: “Take only that which is given to you. Share it, as the Earth has shared with you. Be grateful. Reciprocate the gift. Sustain the ones who sustain you, and the Earth will last forever.”
May we share the journey of deepening our gratitude, expressing it through our words and our actions, in relationship.