Growing up on the Island of Jamaica was so much fun.
My family were small farmers who ate what they grew, sold some to make a bit of money to pay the few bills they had and gave away the rest. In those days, everyone shared everything. If I had food, everyone in the district had food. It was just like that. My grandparents were church people, with my grandfather being the founding minister for a few.
Once per year, all the local churches had what was called Harvest, when the local farmers donated ground provisions from their crops to the church. On Harvest Sunday, the children dressed in their Sunday best and walked down the aisle with a beautifully decorated home-made straw basket filled with the provisions from their father’s, uncle’s, or some other family member’s farm. The women made pastries from scratch. Cakes, cookies, bread, treats made with coconut, sugar, and ginger. Harvest Sunday was an entire day’s event as the children performed, singing their lungs out whilst the women cooked food on a wood fire, selling the finished product to make money to be used for repairing the church building or building a new structure. The donated ground provisions were often sold for the same purpose.
Everyone gathered at the church to celebrate God’s provisions all year long. Aaahh! Great memories!
Harvest has become a thing of the past in Jamaica.
I now reside in the USA where Thanksgiving Day is a huge celebration that I once participated in. For many years, I would host a dinner party, inviting as many as 30 guests to dine and celebrate with us. Jerk Turkey, Macaroni & cheese which was perfected by my daughter Marsha, Jerk Beef ribs cooked especially for my son Marlon and his friend Arman as they would not eat pork ribs, Rice n Peas, wine, ice cream, and sweet potato pies. Fond memories.
Today, I no longer set aside one day of the year to celebrate Thanksgiving. I have discovered that Everday is Thanksgiving Day.
As I rise each morning, looking to the heavens, I give thanks.
Laying down my head to sleep, I give thanks.
For the good, I give thanks.
Bad times too, I give thanks.
In all things, I have learned and is still learning
To be Thankful