A New Home
From Homo transformans: The Origin and Nature of the Species
Illustration by Epic Made
A New Home
Matron Trevora spoke to Ruwena, “We do not know who you are. Still, we invite you to stay in Erwina, if you wish to do so…. In return, we ask the same of you as we do of all our members. Do everything in your power to protect and defend your new home and everyone who lives here with you – especially, the children. What would you like to do?”
I could have a new home, Ruwena thought to herself. She accepted Matron Trevora’s invitation. Later that evening, she opened the largest window of her room and looked outside. Shortly thereafter, a woodland owl rose up on silent wings and flew out.
(Excerpt from Home transformans: The Origin and Nature of the Species)
On the fourth Thursday of November, we celebrate our Thanksgiving Day. This year, it will be on the 28th of November. The notion of a day of thanksgiving hails back to colonial times when settlers in the New World gave thanks upon harvesting their crops. After the Revolutionary War, then President George Washington declared 26 November as a national day of thanks for the deliverance of a new nation, the United States of America. During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation to celebrate Thanksgiving Day on the last Thursday of November. In 1941, Congress passed a joint resolution designating the fourth Thursday of November to be Thanksgiving Day. President Roosevelt signed the resolution making Thanksgiving Day an official national holiday (https://www.archives.gov/legislative/features/thanksgiving).
Let us give thanks, each of us in our own way, for the blessings we have received – home, family, friends, and a Thanksgiving feast. Let us also think of others who are less fortunate and, in some way, help them during a time of ill fortune. Look within your own communities for nonprofit organizations where you can volunteer your time, skills, and expertise, or donate material resources.
If you will be traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday, travel safely. If you are driving, avoid using alcoholic beverages or other drugs that impair your reflexes and alertness. Identify a designated driver willing to forego these items if you will be traveling by car. Nearly 50 million people will be on the road this Thanksgiving. On average, 500-550 people are killed in automobile accidents over the Thanksgiving holiday period (NSC, 2018). Approximately 40%-50% of these accidents are attributed to driving under the influence of alcohol.
If you are cooking on Thanksgiving Day, keep a sharp eye on the fire. Cooking causes over 75% of residential fires that occur on Thanksgiving, and more cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year, followed by Christmas. About one third of these fires are attributed to inattention (NFIRS 2014-2016; NFPA, 2018).
Enjoy your Thanksgiving and be safe!
National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). Thanksgiving Day Fires in Residential Building (2014-2016). https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/statistics/snapshot_thanksgiving.pdf
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). (2018.) Home Cooking Fires. https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Data-research-and-tools/US-Fire-Problem/Home-Cooking-Fires
National Safety Council (NSC). (2018.) Holiday traffic fatality estimate. https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/motor-vehicle/holidays/thanksgiving-day/