From the Stacks
By Carol Ann Robb, PPL Reference Librarian
Thanksgiving tends to get lost in the shuffle of holidays. In many ways, it’s like tailgating on steroids—a lot of food and football games. And then it’s sensory overload into shopping for the biggest holiday of all.
Adult readers are hard-pressed to find many novels revolving around Thanksgiving; even the number of nonfiction titles are limited. Most of the books on our display are cookbooks and generic titles on gratitude—not that there’s anything wrong with that but Thanksgiving deserves so much more attention in my opinion. There are a few songs, mostly hymns—“Come Ye Thankful People Come” and “We Gather Together” and, of course, “Over the River and Through the Woods”—but none are nearly as hum-able as any Christmas carol. But well, Thanksgiving does revolve around food and for those of us preparing the dinner, there isn’t much time to read.
Something I know well as I find myself cooking and cleaning in these days before the big feast. So since I’m short on time—and you probably are, too—let me close with a poem by Alberto Rios I recently discovered that I think is a very good reminder what Thanksgiving is, or should be, all about.
When Giving is All We Have
We give because someone gave to us.
We give because nobody gave to us.
We give because giving has changed us.
We give because giving could have changed us.
We have been better for it,
We have been wounded by it—
Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,
Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.
Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too,
But we read this book, anyway, over and again:
Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand,
Mine to yours, yours to mine.
You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.
Together we are simple green. You gave me
What you did not have, and I gave you
What I had to give—together, we made
Something greater from the difference.