Every day the light decreases marking the seasonal change from harvesting abundance to the scarcity of winter. It is a time when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. This ancient belief continues to intrigue me. Stories of humans becoming lost in the mist only to discover themselves in the presence of the gods express both the limitations and potential power of humans. Since I believe that words also change and adjust to reflect current meanings, I have been considering the meaning of the veil between the living and the dead. Every day, as darkness increases, I notice potential gateways between the living and the dead. The gateways I have noticed are based on the assumption that people can be living, breathing, and moving, yet dead to the world around them. It’s a time of being lost, essentially mindlessly lost and powerless. It might be when someone is lost due to intense attention to a device they become totally unaware of their surroundings. It might be due to someone eating without tasting one morsel of food. At this time of the year, in the USA, the frenzy to create the perfect holiday gathering, the perfect meal, the perfect house decoration, becomes all important.

When I was young and heard the myth of the Pilgrims ‘first’ Thanksgiving, I lived on Mahican, Kanienʼkehá꞉ka (Mohawk), Munsee Delaware land.
When I was a mother with young children I lived on Mohican, Munsee-Lenape, Schaghticoke land.
As I write this, I live on ᏣᎳᎫᏪᏘᏱ Tsalaguwetiyi (Cherokee, East) land.

Over time, my understanding of light and dark has altered.
Over time, my understanding of living on the land and with the land has altered.
Over time, my understanding of being powerless has altered.

Every day, my understanding of gratitude deepens.

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