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🍁🍂Thanksgiving, the Honorable Harvest and

a message from the First Nations

January 21, 2020


Haawka and Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! On November 8, I had the honor of meeting Kumeyaay Resource Specialist and California Ethnobotanist, Kristie Orosco, at the monthly meeting for Torrey Pines docents. She spoke eloquently to us of the full meaning of the Kumeyaay greeting, haawka. It is so much more than a greeting- it’s a blessing comprised of 3 words. (Forgive me, I’m sure to misspell these words.) 

Ha is an affirmation. It means yes, and water. It reminds me that water is life itself.

Awa refers to the body and also means home. I’m reminded that their word for the body and the land are one. That word is Mot.

Ka means to keep going. ”Ka is how a fire burns brightly,” she said.

Together, haawka says, I see you. May your journey continue and may your spirit burn brightly. 

The people of the First Nations honor what they call the Honorable Harvest. Robin Wall Kimmerer of the Potawatomi Nation summarizes the honorable harvest below (from her book Braiding Sweetgrass).

Tomorrow, let us honor the land, our families, and the people on whose land we in San Diego gather to celebrate Thanksgiving. Let’s greet each other in the spirit of haawka and give thanks for the bountiful meal we’ll share in the spirit of the honorable harvest. 

My thanks to Kristie for sharing information that would have likely caused her to be thrown in prison, or worse, prior to the passing of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act passed In 1978. And thank you, Gabriele W, for bringing us this auspicious teacher for this particular meeting! 

Wishing you a blessed, bountiful Thanksgiving! 🍁🦃