One of my favorite films is the 1992 version of James Fenimore Cooper’s classic Last of the Mohicans. The film opens as Hawkeye, Chingachgook and Uncas chase down a deer for their meal. Before partaking of the animal, they kneel before its lifeless body and thank it for sharing itself with them. I think of that scene often as I try to slow my pace of eating in this hectic world we live in.
I used the scene early in Gaspar, Another Tale of the Christ as the young Gaspar journeys to Kanheri with his slave Androkles and his Indian guide Bhima
“… I have learned during the first two nights that no one will ever eat food in Bhima’s presence without first thanking whatever powers he believes in for furnishing us with this food … Tonight, I take a single bite and chew it unhurriedly, thinking about the field of wheat that offers me its grain. The wheat field rolls wave after effortless wave through my mind, powered by a soft breeze that flows in rhythm with the breath of the world. I take a second bite and imagine a smiling woman using the grain to make the dough. And so it goes as I picture the flowering lentil and thank it for giving me sustenance.”
On this Thanksgiving Day, I invite you to slow your pace and thank God for being a part of creation that generously shares itself with its brothers and sisters.