This weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada. My son, Sam, wrote a Thanksgiving poem that I am sharing with you below. I also want to give thanks to all of you for your constant nourishment and support and for your much valued comments, humour and multifaceted points-of-view. Communicating with you and sharing your varied worlds means a lot to me and you have added a rich and meaningful dimension to my life. I wish you all the joy and magic of family, friends and harvest, and as we break bread with each other not to forget our brothers and sisters who have nothing and no one.

Thanksgiving Day by Sam Clinock

A day…

To notice what is directly in front of our eyes.

To focus, to realize,

That we have so much,

That every friend’s loving touch,

Is humbling.


A yearly reminder,

A magnifying glass, a simple life finder,

Of the basics of living,

And the wonders of giving.

I will now write

In the slowly fading light,

What I am grateful for:


A word that loses meaning.

Unconditional love of family

Who made me who I am.

Love of good ol’ friends

Who cheer me when I’m down.

And true, romantic love

That breaks and unbreaks the heart

Sometimes so very close

Sometimes far apart.

The food and drink that we have

From nourishing Mother Earth

Whose land is hard and beautiful,

Remember what it’s worth.

The people of the world

Who each give something new.

Creative, different and shining

I am thankful for them too.

Let us not accept with ease

All that comes our way.

From where does it come?

For what reason do we pay?

Let us say thanks tonight

And each and every day

For each miracle in the world

And every scene in this play.

37 thoughts on “Thanksgiving

    1. Thank you for your generous words Marina – I’ve found it to be true – if we can remember to give thanks every day for simply being alive this seems to put all into perspective…


  1. Happy Thanksgiving John to you and your family. Nice poem. You’ve definitely passed on your creative gifts to your son.


  2. Sam writes with the profound meaning of his life and the life of those around him. I am sure you have inspired him from the very beginnings. Warm thoughts of our long friendship and Happy thanksgiving to you and Jesse and Sam.


  3. Oh Canada…Thank YOU for giving us such thoughtful souls that soar with no boundries to touch the world with grace and beauty. Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family and your beautiful country. I am honored to be your blogging friend.


    1. I understand the origins of American Thanksgiving but, like springtime festivities, the traditions of giving thanks for the harvest is thousands of years old. Being further north we celebrate earlier…


  4. We don’t have Thanksgiving in this part of the world. We should have, and the sentiments expressed in your son’s poem is the reason why. Thanks John for sharing with us.


    1. You are welcome William but I wonder, having grown up in England, that you don’t celebrate Harvest Festival in Ireland?


      1. It is celebrated by the Protestant community (generally descendants of English settlers) but the numbers are so small it is not a significant event. The reason as to why it’s not celebrated generally, is buried in Irish prehistory. Thanksgiving is connected to harvest. Ancient Irish culture (and British) was based on cattle not corn. We never had the Romans or the Anglo Saxons so the old ways survived well into historical times. In a recent Time Team TV program the experts were trying to reconstruct the lives of the ancient Britons relative to the ‘second’ Stonehenge, recently discovered. The archaeological evidence suggested a ‘festival of the dead’ based on the two Stonehenges. What they unwittingly described was the ‘Samhain’ (Halloween) festival of the dead, celebrated in Ireland, especially since it was ‘Christianised’ (8th century) as the ‘All Souls’ Day’ festival. This was the end of ‘light days’, beginning of ‘dark days’ religious festival. Much of Irish culture is a relic of pre-Celtic European culture.


        1. Interesting response William, thank you. I had forgotten about “cattle not corn” – that would explain it. Being an art history student I have been reading about the ‘second Stonehenge’ discovery – fascinating stuff. Interesting also how seasonal events, such as the harvest, the return and leaving of the sun etc have been embedded in various cultures. Samhain, the ancient Wiccan festival, is very big in north America manifesting, as you say, in Halloween. How do the Irish celebrate this event?


  5. Its all Hollywood nowadays. Kids think Halloween is a reaction to cinema, with the dressing-up etc., something which became popular after some famous horror film. So its probably very similar the world over now. When I was a kid there was nothing glamorous about death or meeting any wandering souls on Halloween night. There were the harmless games we all know about today but also a strong religious element, which ended in the All Saints’ Day Mass.


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