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Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:46 PM

A Holiday Greeting

ďThe original instructions direct that we who walk about this earth are to express a great respect and affection and a gratitude toward all the spirits that create and support life. We give a greetings and thanksgiving to the many supporters of our lives Ö..the plants, the animals, the water, the air, and the sun. When people cease to respect and express gratitude for these many things, then all life will be destroyed, and human life on the planet earth will come to an end.Ē
-- John Mohawk; Seneca Nation; Presentation to the United Nations; September, 1977.


Iíve been thinking about the late John Mohawk today. He passed away six years ago, at the age of 61. John taught at the University of Buffalo for many years. He was also a prolific author; he published books, magazine articles, and newspapers, focusing on a wide range of issues. One of his passions was cooking traditional foods, which tend to be far healthier than much of what is represented as nourishing these days.(His last trip abroad was to Vietnam; his reason for going was to learn the recipes for some of his favorite meals.)

My older daughter, home for the semester break at college, made a delicious squash soup today. For years, preparing the squash soup was my duty. Times change.

Her friend from college, who is from China, is staying with us. This gives me a unique opportunity to talk to a highly intelligent young lady about Chinese history and current events. She used to work summers in a museum in the small city she was raised in, and thinks it is outstanding that our home is something of a museum, too. Later this week, she will be preparing some traditional Chinese meals.

She told me about how, a few years back, there was a construction project in a neighborhood near her home. Under the ground, the workers found the remains of an ancient structure, some 2,000 years old. Some of the artifacts uncovered ended up in the museum that she worked at.

I think about that, and a few of the threads that Iíve read here in the past 24 hours, about how Christianity borrowed from older traditions, for its Christmas festival. Thatís to be expected: it is no different than one building being constructed on the site where an ancient one once stood, or than my daughter making the squash soup, much as I used to.

Itís important to be aware of the reality that this is our turn in the cycle of life. Try to find the balance that works for you: work on social-political issues; fight the Good Fight; and be sure to enjoy the simple things in life.

Happy holiday season to all.

H2O Man

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply A Holiday Greeting (Original post)
H2O Man Dec 2012 OP
Little Star Dec 2012 #1
H2O Man Dec 2012 #3
freshwest Dec 2012 #2
H2O Man Dec 2012 #4
HappyMe Dec 2012 #5
cordelia Dec 2012 #6

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:55 PM

1. Happy holiday season to you & your family too.....

But it's not fair that you didn't include the squash soup recipe.

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Response to Little Star (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 09:00 AM

3. Thanks! And a

happy holiday season to you & yours!

I learned to cook from hanging out with my maternal grandfather. He was a gardener, with about five acres of river-flat planted each year. That provided him his income.

In general, his recipes were in his head. Though I have his cook-books (and pots & pans, etc), I can't recall ever seeing him use them.

Arthur Parker, the Seneca who served as the NYS Archaeologist in the early 1900s, included some of the old recipes in his books on the Iroquois. Corn, beans, and squash were, of course, central to the diet, and known as the Three Sisters. I like to add roasted corn and some beans to my squash soup.

My favorite is acorn squash soup; I make it with two squash, two potatoes, and a seasoned broth.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:13 PM

2. As always. it's a luxury to read your words and hear about your world.

We are very fortunate to be here in this time.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 09:03 AM

4. Thank you very much!

This is the classic "best of times, worst of times." It always is!

No matter if we are religious, spiritual, or neither, we still do well to have ceremonies and festivals that apply to being here, on earth, and now, at this time.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:16 AM

5. Happy, healthy holidays to you & yours.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:39 AM

6. That's lovely.

A very happy holiday to you and yours.

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