We reflect on a day set aside to remember
an early harvest meal native people shared
with new people coming to our lands.
It is believable that the new people offered prayers
in gratitude for the bounty.
Our prayers were different.
We gave thanks not just for the one day,
but for all days, every day. We were up at sunrise
to give thanks for the morning light,
and for our footprints upon the earth.
We gave thanks for our relatives, our babies,
the lodges we lived in and the sun of summer
and the rains of winter.
We gave thanks for the waters, the plants, the trees,
the 4-leggeds, the swimmers, the flyers, the foods,
and the medicines.
We gave thanks for the seasons, the winds, the
sound of sky, the flight of clouds and the
colors of sunsets and rainbows.
These thankful thoughts were repeated as we
drifted into the sleep of night.
We did not think of it as prayer, but as the
never-ending conversation between
ourselves and the High God.