Monday, October 11, 2010

Thanksgiving Thoughts

The Cheltenham Badlands are a unique Ontario land feature located on the Niagara Escarpment near Caledon. We drove there early this Thanksgiving Monday and enjoyed the fall colours along the escarpment between Milton and the Forks of the Credit Provincial Park. The soil here has washed away and soft shale rock has eroded into hills and steep gullies. The terrain is difficult to traverse and we walked carefully around the perimeter of the site.

I have much to be thankful for this season. But others who are close to me are going through very hard times. This Thanksgiving is painful and the future appears to hold even more difficulty. Yesterday our pastor shared the Pilgrim story of the five corn kernels.

After the first Thanksgiving celebration in 1621, the Pilgrims faced hardship and a period of severe food shortage. At one point their rations were five corn kernels a day. In 1623 the corn crop was failing due to drought, but rain arrived after the Pilgrims held a prayer service asking for God's intervention on their behalf. The harvest of 1623 was bountiful and the five kernels of corn became a way to remember the sacrifices of the past and to be thankful for present blessings.

The Badlands were surrounded by the extravagant beauty of autumn woodlands clothed in brilliant colour. The scene reminded me of the good times and bad times which all mankind will experience in a lifetime. The psalmist wrote in Psalm 30:11-12,

"You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!"

The five kernels of corn remind us to be thankful for specific blessings which we can list ourselves. One constant blessing is the knowledge of God's compassion, love and provision in all circumstances.

Be thankful in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18


  1. Thoughts for those close to you who are going through difficulty.

    The Cheltenham Badlands are amazing! I had never heard of them and enjoyed following the link and learning more about them.

    Happy Thanksgiving! I keep forgetting yours in the second Monday in October.

  2. I've never heard to these badlands either!Now must go see them. Lovely photos, and nice photo simile for good times and bad..
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Badlands always seem to look so good. :)

  4. I have been all around this area and, amazingly, not head of the Badlands until about a year ago. It is a wonderful hidden gem!

  5. What a bright and beautiful place to give thanks. The colors of those fall trees just jump off the page.

  6. Mexico Mom10:25 pm GMT-4

    Loved your blog. My 5 kernels of corn represent the months of April-August 2010.
    My renewal of health and strength after 5 months of a dire diagnosis, will always cause me to know I serve a God of the impossible.
    My father was almost fanatic in teaching us geography and history of Ontario but this is the first time I knew about the "Badlands". Incredible.

  7. What beautiful fall color Ruth. Thinking of you and your family and wishing you strength and peace.

  8. Wow. I'd not heard the Five Kernels story before. Thanks for the inspiration...and the gorgeous photos!

  9. Thanks for your comments. There are a number of variations of the story of the five kernels of corn and if you google "five corn kernels thanksgiving" you can read more.
    The Badlands have developed in the 20th century after land on the escarpment was cleared for farming. Obviously this was not good farmland. (That is why my grandfather would not have known about them)


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