I’ll admit I love Thanksgiving. I love the ritual of coming together as a family – often with close friends adding to good company. I enjoy spending the day cooking and sharing food with the most important people in my life. I appreciate the modest but meaningful dimensions of the tradition – a time fully set aside for enjoying loved ones, for feasting, and for reflecting on the blessings of the year. Thanksgiving in this way offers a quiet, sacrosanct day for truly unplugging and being present in the simple ritual of the day.
On a recent trip to the bookstore, I stumbled upon and burned a good hour engrossed in Margaret Visser’s The Gift of Thanks: The Roots and Rituals of Gratitude. She wrote something that made me think differently still about the holiday and appreciate its emphasis even more: “Memory links the present to the past, and the deliberate recall and recounting of past benefits is itself a form of gratitude. Civilization, and culture generally require memory and tradition. The latter (literally, from the Latin, ‘a handing on’) means a kind of gift, from what has been learned through experience, from the past to the present. The society that now accepts the gift is therefore ‘grateful’ to the past.” Call me crazy, but there’s something oddly Primal about this concept.
The deeper I go in my Primal journey, the more I’m grateful for what I understand about our human story. I love feeling healthy and being out in the sun for the sheer joy of it, but I also appreciate the deep-seated connection to a kind of ancestral legacy and the personal grounding it offers. The fact is, living Primally has been a wellspring for me in ways I’d never anticipated. It’s become much more than a formula or a metaphor but a model I can continually examine my life and choices against, a reminder of what is genuinely essential and life-giving. I’m thankful for a past – and memory – deeper than my own.
For those of you in the U.S. (or for Americans abroad), enjoy your holiday and all that your celebration includes today. To everyone, I hope you have much to be thankful for this year. Let me express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you for your continuing support, your involvement, and your insights that make the MDA community what it is. Best wishes to you and yours!
About the Author
Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.