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Thankfulness in the Midst of a Pandemic

We ought to make the moments notes

Of happy glad Thanksgiving;

The hours and days,

A silent praise

Of music we are living

- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

We are entering into one of my most favorite holiday seasons of the year, but sadly, it is usually forgotten between Halloween and Christmas. Thanksgiving to me is such a special story – a group united to risk all to live in a land that they’ve never seen before in order to live their hours and days in freedom – thereby giving us the tradition today known as the American Dream.

And interestingly enough, the First Thanksgiving 399 years ago has about the same tone as our Thanksgiving in 2020. After a year of much loss of life due to their own epidemic, those who remained alive in Plymouth toiled to build structures, plant crops, and keep their children fed and healthy. With the help of Providence and the Wampanoag tribe, the Pilgrims were able to survive.

But the Pilgrims had a choice to make, the same choice that we will need to make this year: do we surrounded ourselves with the noise of negativity and focus only on every bad thing that has happened this year, or do we acknowledge the heartbreaks of the past but follow the music that is good, true, and beautiful?

In 2020, I believe it is critical that this year, we should be thankful for the days that we were given to focus on what is most important in our lives – our faith, our family, our gift of music, our gift to teach these musical skills to others, our American Dream.

I would encourage you this November to make a list of things you are thankful for. Take a piece of paper and number it 1-30, and when you wake up each morning, write down the first thing you can think of that you are thankful to have. By the end of the month, you will be able to review all these blessings and have the mindset to be ready for the lovely Christmas season that follows!

“Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors…And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”

Edward Winslow – The First Thanksgiving


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