When we did a round-robin reading of the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address at the end of our pre-Thanksgiving class, I was moved to combine it with my photos. The Address expresses gratitude for the oldest and most ancient elements in our life — the earth, the sun, the moon, the winds, the water, etc. The Haudenosaunee Confederacy itself has been meeting for 1,000 years. By opening every meeting with the Address, each gathering is enfolded in a culture of gratitude, the consciousness that the earth and its many manifestations continually gift us with abundance.

The prayer also situates our individual lives and souls on an earth with no boundaries. The sun and rain shower every shoulder, the winds cool every face, the ground supports every footstep. Our gratitude for these blessings reminds us, in turn, of our obligation to treasure and foster them, as they do us.