The month of November ushers us into the inevitable change in weather when it’s going to get colder, darker, rainy and wet, and probably with flurries of snow. Then boom comes winter in its full glare! The month of November is significant and it holds different meanings for different people. For some, it is a birth month and for the Americans, it’s a month of Thanksgiving. In the Christian religious calendar, different commemorations and celebrations are held in November.
Personally, November is when I begin to get the real beat from the weather as the day slowly transitions into darkness. This is the beginning of longer nights, and I face more challenges with the harsh weather: the cold gets colder; sleep becomes more appealing; warm drinks become more acceptable. This is when I embrace indoor activities more and succeed in my daily routines. I indulge more in fitness and exercises. Then I grow my passion for writing the random thoughts in my mind, a time I feel inspired to use every minute I spend indoors to create something meaningful. When I go outside, I wear more layers of clothing while my feet warm up in thick socks and boots.
November is symbolic in the Catholic theological calendar, with the autumnal commemoration of the feast of ‘All Saints’ and ‘All Souls’ day. Many Catholic faithful celebrate these two occasions by remembering their departed loved ones and the saints in heaven. As a child, I never missed attending Mass on these two days, as a family tradition, and as an act of obedience.
Another remarkable thing about November is the feelings it resonates to the Americans. Yes, I am talking about ‘Thanksgiving’. In the United States, Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated with families and loved ones, an American tradition that is gradually paving its way across other continents.
Thanksgiving. The word speaks for itself. A day when families gather together to enjoy good food and appreciate one another. A time to show gratitude and love to members of one’s family, friends, parents, children, siblings, and in-laws. The love is extended also to the down-trodden and the less privileged. It’s usually a moment to be thankful for one’s good harvest and whatever one has in one’s life. In other words, one can be thankful for one’s family, one’s health, and other things that give one joy in life. It’s a big deal! The Thanksgiving table is always a delight with its attractive culinary display that beckons on one to eat, and eat, whatever food that is served. The ‘Turkey’ is the symbol of this great celebration. The sight of a gigantic turkey, well stuffed and marinated in condiments that give it a tasty and appetizing aroma on the dinner table, can be inviting. Now, I am salivating already.
With a special day, last Thursday of November to be precise, set aside as a thanksgiving day in the USA, I see Thanksgiving as an everyday act. In Nigeria, people give thanks every day. At the break of dawn, when we wake up from sleep, on a safe arrival to one’s destination, upon graduation from school or any programme, for a newborn baby, for marriages and weddings, and other things that bring fulfillment to people. More so, thanksgiving and big celebrations accompany the successful issuance of a visa to the western world. Well, this is true. Even after the burial of a loved one, or a mourning period, a thanksgiving is usually the climax of such events.
To me, the common denominator in having a thanksgiving is for appreciation and gratitude. To acknowledge God for his benevolence and providence. Also, to appreciate one another. However, it is celebrated in different ways and for different reasons. Despite everything that happens to us as humans, we need to be grateful for life. This is the hallmark of life itself: to learn lessons and garner experiences. Showing gratitude is liberating, enriching, and embedded in love. I am most thankful. I am grateful. Thank you. Wow! Simple words that carry weight and give exhilarating feelings.
Do you know that November has another significance like the rest of the months? From a cultural sense, November is symbolized by the birth flower called ‘Chrysanthemum’, which stands for cheerfulness, friendship, abundance, and love. This flower brings happiness and laughter to the home.
On this note, to all the wonderful people born in the month of November, I am sending a red Chrysanthemum flower to you, which means ‘I love you’. To everyone having a reason for thankfulness, I say, ‘celebrate life and be happy.’
Being a month of Thanksgiving, even though I don’t live in that space of the world called the ‘United States of America’, I would like to say ‘thank you to everyone of my wonderful family; my amazing friends, old and new, who have supported and encouraged me by reading my writings, liking or commenting on them.’ I’d like to tell you that ‘you give me more energy to continue my passion and get better at it. I am grateful. I love you.’
Peace and Love!
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