The hidden treasure that helped me celebrate this years Thanksgiving holiday is the "Whispering Giant", that is located a block from my house. This statue made out of Douglas Fir wood was carved by Peter Toth. Toth one of 11 children was born into poverty in the newly formed Republic of Hungary in December 1947. In 1956 when the Hungarian borders briefly were open, his family immigrated to the United States and settled in Akron, Ohio. As Toth grew up in this country, he developed a deep interest in Native American culture and history. He saw their story parallel to the violent repression he had experienced in Hungary. He is a self taught artist who traveled the US and stopping wherever local officials would allow or invite him to carve one of his "Whispering Giants" to commemorate the plight of the Native Americans. He accepted no money for his work. He considered the sculptures to be a gift to his adopted country. In 1982 he rolled into Rhode Island and was given permission to sculpt "Enishkeetompauog" who was the chief for the Narragansett tribe which covered all of Rhode Island at the time the Pilgrims arrived. He completed his tribute to the Indigenous people of North America, specifically Native Americans in May 1988. He has a sculpture in every state.
My husband and I have always felt a deep connection to this structure since we moved here several years ago. As we walk by it almost everyday on our way to the beach, we thank the Native Americans for this land that we live on now. So in gratitude this Thanksgiving, we laid flowers at this monument, said our prayers; and as many Native Americans cultures had celebrations that honored the end of the harvest, we found a way to incorporate that into our celebration this year and will continue this new tradition every Thanksgiving to honor their history. So like with many of my ceremonies that I develop, I have found a way to incorporate the old with the new. It's a way I can spend the day with my family, but still remain faithful to our own sense of value.