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November 22, 2007 [LINK / comment]

A day for giving thanks

For a country that has been as blessed as the United States, it is quite fitting that we have a national holiday devoted to thanking God for all that we have. (Otherwise, some of us might forget!*) Thanksgiving should serve to instill in all of us a sense not just gratitude to Our Creator, but also a sense of obligation to share -- voluntarily! -- our blessings with those who are less fortunate than us, especially those in countries afflicted by poverty and oppression.

Thanksgiving is unique in being a religious holiday that is inter-faith: You can observe it just as well, whether you are a Christian or a Jew -- or even a Buddhist, Muslim, or Hindu. In Emmanuel Episcopal Church, we had our annual Harvest Breakfast two Sundays ago, an occasion for expressing thanks and stewardship. During the service, I joined several other musicians in performing a series of bluegrass/folk songs, including the classic "Bringing in the Sheaves" and two songs from the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? My contribution was "Fly Away Home," by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils. (!) Later it occurred to me how appropriate it is for this time of year: millions of Americans are flying home for the holiday.

* Here's a provocative thought: In an age in which the dominant political discourse centers around various people's claims on public resources as a birthright (health care, highways, etc.), perhaps we should have a national holiday to celebrate our culture of dependency: Entitlements Day! (Just kidding. )

(Late) fall foliage

Is this a great state, or what?

Fall 2007 montage, Bald Cypress closeup

A few random images from last month. Clockwise, from top left: Pumpkin patch east of Afton, the Industrial park north of Staunton, a Baldcypress tree at Sweet Briar College, and the pastures along Bell's Lane. Roll mouse over image to see a close-up of the Baldcypress tree, one of the very few conifers that is deciduous; the needles fall off in the winter.

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 22 Nov 2007, 12: 17 PM

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The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:

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