November the 22nd was Thanksgiving in the US and for those of us who live in other parts of the world the celebration is not a custom for us unless heavily influenced by US ex-pats. However the emerging and booming social media has brought it into the lives of most english speaking westerners.
Of course having never celebrated "Thanksgiving" and as an African Australian (Would 'Afro-Australian' be a more politically correct term? I wonder.) I knew very little of the celebration and surmised that it was introduced by early Western Christian settlers in the America's as some sort of 'Harvest Celebration' whereby a feast was shared with the indigenous population to honour God and give thanks for the bounty.
I have family now who have planted their roots in America and Canada... and other parts of the world of course but since this is a celebration that my US and Canadian family have embraced I felt compelled to actually find out what it is all about. At first it seemed that my assumptions had been incorrect as my initial searches only revealed copious quantities of recipes, food, consumption and turkeys. In fact I found quite a few references to "Turkey Day" and couldn't help wondering if "Thanksgiving" was actually about giving thanks as the name suggests.
After digging a little deeper however I did find that my initial assumption had been fairly correct and of course it (Thanksgiving) is no longer considered to be a "Christian" festival in honour of God as the supplier of the bountiful harvest. It seems that there is no clear distinction as to who the thanks is to be given to - hence the introduction of the term "Turkey Day"and any reference to Christianity and or God seems to invoke hot debate amongst non-Christian's.
Of course I am in favour of giving thanks for our bounty to our creator and so embrace the notion and concept of a "Thanksgiving" celebration. I, being a Christian give my thanks to God for the bountiful blessings that he bestows on me everyday. What you do and who you wish to thank is entirely up to you, be it the turkey, sun or whatever, thats your right as my belief is mine.
The reason I titled this blog post "Gratitude" is twofold, one - to express my view and support of "Thanksgiving" and two - to express my amazement at the ignorance, (or as the poets would say) nay... stupidity of some members of the Queensland populace.
Queensland is notorious for severe storms at this time of year and in recent years has seen many cyclones, hail, dust, deluge, lightning strikes and flooding to up to 75% of the state on occasion. Two years ago I, along with a whole lot of people were surprised by Queensland weather when Toowoomba a city on top of the mountain, flooded and entire towns were washed away. So to be surprised by the weather after this defies logic. In fact I would go so far as to say that there are only two weather conditions in Queensland, Perfect or Severe and the adage "Queensland - beautiful one day and perfect the next" rings true for the most part but at this time of the year, dark clouds that look heavily pregnant and especially with a green tinge are about to give birth to a severe storm - without doubt!
So last week we had a bunch of Queenslanders (a minority fortunately) that went about their business under heavily pregnant skies, totally oblivious to the howling wind, vivid green sheen on black cloud, rolling thunder from the horizon following a light display to die for. These cute little morons were caught totally unawares when the storm struck and were unprepared for its severity - they immediately pointed the finger at the bureau of meteorology and blamed them for their woes as the Bureau had supposedly been slow in putting out a severe weather warning.
I saw and heard the Weather Bureau's severe storm warning and it was about 45 minutes before the storm's severity struck us but I knew 3-4 hours earlier that there was a storm on the way, would it be severe?, no idea at first but there was a fairly good chance it would be, a strong westerly on a fairly clear sky usually means something big is coming over the Darling (love that name) mountain range.
Sorry but I can't help thinking, what an ungrateful bunch of retards as I give thanks to God that we were not adversely effected by the storm.