Thanksgiving is here, and we stand at the gateway to the Dark Time. Time for a feast, my friends, before the winter, the freezing and starving throws itself, wolf-like, upon us…
That’s how it used to be. Now we have so much, we roll in gluttony and sloth, stuffing down the turkey, veg and potatoes, covering it all with heaps of gravy and ad-impregnated bouts of TV football. We continue our feast of conspicuous consumption with “Black Friday” and a day of mall-ease, staggering between over-heated stores weighed down with packages, plastic card in hand. All the time we are striving to hold back the growing emptiness, the ancient terror of Winter, of Dark and Snowed In.
What kind of crazy world have we made when we are obliged to buy things just to keep the economy “healthy”? When did we stop being people and become “consumers?” And, oh Great Mother Earth, why do we believe we need all this stuff? On the macro scale, I fear we’re living in a sandcastle . As the bumper sticker says, “Insatiable is unsustainable,” and the tide, inevitably, will come in.
Let's remember "Thanks" and "Giving." Instead of taking refuge in the temporary relief provided by a consumerist feeding frenzy, let’s stave off the dark with our family and friends. And let's remember to give: reach out to those with whom you’ve lost touch, send a letter to a lonely relative, visit a shut-in, drop money into the red kettle or adopt and love some sad lost soul from The Humane Society. Help make dinner at the homeless shelter. Don't pass so much judgment upon those who don't share your beliefs or financial status. Resist the temptation to spoil your young ones by buying every little thing they desire. It’s not good for them, not in the long run, this effortless satiation of every whim. Their adult life won't be like that.
Say a heart-felt thank-you, (not just the standard ‘thank you Lord for our food”prayer,) but a moment of remembrance dedicated to the turkey who gave his life for you. Later, sit down and write a letter to the editor or to your congress person about the evils of factory farming. Realize that meat should not be “cheap,” it should be healthy. The living, breathing cattle, pigs and poultry—our warm blooded relatives--should be treated with respect and consideration before they become dinner.
No matter how many good deeds we do, however, know that the old fear will still be lurking. It’s down deep in the heart of everyone, and maybe it’s not just about Dark and Winter. Whatever we do to face that silence, we will all, inevitably, have to confront it--the great, devouring Black Hole. All the stuff in the world cannot fill it and no matter how fast we run, we will be swallowed in the end.
Om Krim Kali Ma! Down to the cremation ground beside the sacred river...
So, don't spend so much time at the mall or munching by the TV. Get up early and watch the sun rise. Listen attentively to what the birds say. Go out and rake the yard before the power tool guys get out and destroy your form of Communion. Nature--sky, clouds, trees, sun, rain, our kin, our fellow creatures—these are our real treasures, the eternity-in-the-now which makes life worth living, which shines our little, conscious candle into the face of all-conquering night.