As an immigrant immersing herself in American life, I am amazed by the identification of food and festivities in this country, most notably turkey and Thanksgiving. This Thursday, I, along with my family and many others, will be sitting at the table waiting for that piece of turkey to be put in our plates. But, what if there is no turkey to be feasted on?
That will certainly be great news for the turkey and maybe welcome news to the vegans and vegetarians out there. But, what of the average diner? Will Thanksgiving be ruined for lack of this staple?
In any case, it appears that the choice of turkey as festival centerpiece was a result of practicality than anything else. In this day and age, there are a lot of other choices - some may look fancier, some may be tastier, or what have you. And an NPR article even claimed that there was no turkey during the First Thanksgiving. Instead, there were about five (5) deer courtesy of the Wampanoag, and waterfowl like ducks and geese courtesy of the pilgrims. It also claimed that turkey only became a staple of Thanksgiving only gradually. It appears that centuries after that first feast, the then popular cookbook, Buckeye Cookery did not include the turkey as part of the traditional Thanksgiving meal. It only became popular after President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving as a national holiday upon the lobbying of one Sarah Josepha Hale who romanticized the common turkey. If I am getting convuluted, please refer to the links Anyway, my point is, it was not integral to the event that is being commemmorated. That being the case, turkey is on the table partly by tradition, partly by commercialization, and mostly because both are working together to perpetuate the practice. (If I am being too naughty and cheeky, feel free to give me a handslap. ) For which I will plead genuine curiosity and ignorance on account of my being an immigrant. I do not mean to offend though.)
I will not dare answer for anyone. But, even if I am not born celebrating Thanksgiving, I will miss the turkey if it is not served tomorrow. I've been psyched for it. And if at the last minute, my MIL says that turkey will not be served, I will be first to ask "WHY????". But then, it is just a turkey, food. It is not the essence of the feast - though it makes the table look festive. I will be more worried if there is no giving thanks during Thanksgiving.
Peace of soul comes to those with the right kind of anxiety about attaining perfect happiness, which is God. A soul has anxiety because it final and eternal state is not yet decided, it is still and always at the crossroads of life. This fundamental anxiety cannot be cured by a surrender to passions and instincts; the basic cause of our anxiety is a restlessness within time that comes because we are made for eternity.
If there were anywhere on earth a resting place other than God, we may be very sure that the human soul in its long history would have found it before this. ~ Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen