This is the day folks give thanks with prayers of appreciation for roast turkey, for the stuffing, for the cranberry sauce, the potatoes, the gravy, the rolls, the pumpkin pie, the veggies, even including the squash that normally has no chance of appreciation at all as compared to the corn or the peas. We might be grateful for our jobs, our success, our opportunities. If we’re feeling expansive enough (and the turkey’s not getting cold) we might praise our family and our friends—if any of the latter happen to be present—and, of course, we might ask for the blessings of the higher power of our choosing.
Such prayers have been given by the population at least a quadrillion times, maybe more. This kind of day has the space and time to accommodate reflection, prayer, and a couple of NFL football games. It is a delightful holiday.
As wonderful as the typical prayer of thanks can be, I feel that it leaves out some of the basics, which I’d like to offer here. The following prayer might not be quite so lofty or pious as the fore-mentioned sentiments. It is a little more down to earth (forgive the puntentional):
We’d like to give thanks for our garden tools, particularly the broad fork that we got from Johnny’s Seeds in Maine, because that one tool has done more than any other to till and aerate the soil, providing us with the abundance of food on the table today. Thanks for the living soil itself, too, all-too-often unappreciated, abused, and killed with artificial fertilizers and pesticides.
We give thanks for the myriad of tiny and not-so-tiny beings that help to make the soil alive, the arthropods, bacteria, earthworms, fungi, microarthropods, nematodes, and protozoa. We give thanks that some of these tiny creatures aren’t the size of a puppy or even a baby gerbil because they would be horror-movie terrifying if they were much larger than a millimeter in length.
The earthworms deserve special attention because they will blindly and grindingly chow down all the uneaten soon-to-be-rotting leftovers from the table today. We are thankful that all this vegetable matter has a use and doesn’t just hang around forever like a stinking landfill. It says something beautiful about nature, doesn’t it, that just about the time we don’t want to eat the food the worms do.
No prayer of thanksgiving would be complete without acknowledging the poop that provides so much for the soil and ultimately for our food. We believe that horse manure is best, with cow, sheep, goat, or other manure deserving appreciation as well.
Lastly, we appreciate that all these sources working together like a Superbowl football team, are able to create the black gold of the garden, humus.
We are sorry that all these essentials for our survival are frequently referred to as Icky, Ishy, Offensive, Nasty, and Yucky. Although we do admit that we prefer our manure a bit broken down, composted, rather than fresh from the animal.
We give thanks for the animals that nurture the plants and the plants that nurture the animals in a perfect win-win harmony. We give thanks for the opportunity to live our lives as stewards of the earth. Amen.