I’m on the final week of my trip to India. It’s a land which assaults all of your senses – bright colors, the smell of incense, jasmine, charcoal fires, spicy food, honking horns, chanting priests and the press of people everywhere.
Amazingly enough there are farm fields not that far outside of any urban area and like any farm in the US, the plots are meticulous. The rainy season has just past and wheat, rice and many vegetable crops have just been planted. One of the major differences though is that there are no tractors or other equipment – it’s all done by hand with short handled hoes (which means bending over all day). Produce and fruits are taken to town in anything that will work – oxen, donkey, pony carts – even the occasional camel. Animals are taken to market on the backs of motorbikes, auto rickshaws or just walked to town. It’s really a sight to see. For most people here the objective for every day is too prepare some food for the day. Whether living in a tin shanty, mud hut, brick home or just a tarp strung across a sidewalk – the family gathers for the evening meal together.
It has really made me re-consider the blessings in my life – our little farm nestled in a beautiful hollow, delicious spring water, healthy and well fed animals and our own bounty of food – even when things get tough we never have to worry about having a meal to finish the day.
My sister in law told me she’d asked a woman who lived a hardscrabble life what was her favorite time of day and she told her that it was in the evening when everyone was home safe and together.
Count your blessings this Thanksgiving – it’s not about Black Friday sales – spend the day with your friends and family. Break bread and give thanks!