Cornucopia: Sharing Our Horns of Plenty

IMG_6551The Kindergarten class recently learned about cornucopias, those iconic symbols of the Thanksgiving holiday, and wrote about what they are thankful for. It was so touching to witness our youngest students taking a moment for self-reflection and expressions of gratitude. Each Kindergartener also created a beautiful paper cornucopia overflowing with fruits and vegetables.

The word “cornucopia” comes to us from the Greeks and translates as “horn of plenty.” The woven horn-shaped basket that we know as a cornucopia today is a replica of a real horn passed down from a particular Greek myth.

IMG_6550In this myth, the baby Zeus was hidden in a cave as protection from the evil Cronus. There, he was nurtured and fed by several divine servants, including the magical goat, Amalthea. When the already strong and powerful baby Zeus got a bit overzealous in playing with Amalthea, one of her enchanted horns accidentally broke off. But all ended well; the broken horn was imbibed with Amalthea’s magical powers and began to produce unending nourishment. Anything that Zeus wanted would be immediately presented by the horn.

The Greeks began to create likenesses of this horn in conjunction with the annual harvest to give thanks to the gods for the abundant bounty they reaped. This expression of gratitude was also meant as a plea to the gods for protection against times of famine.

On a daily basis, most of us enjoy a cornucopia of more food than we can eat, more clothes than we can wear, and more gadgets and toys than we can possibly play with. Not only that, we are surrounded by loving families and friends who enrich our lives in nonmaterial ways. While we may not understand true famine, we can endeavor to show empathy and compassion for those who do, to be thankful for everything that we have, and to help our children to do the same.

IMG_6549Over the past two weeks, we have been collecting donations of non-perishable foods to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank. The food we collected will help Second Harvest to feed the hundreds of thousands of people in San Mateo and Santa Clara County (1 in 10 people) who struggle to feed themselves and their families every day. Next month, we are partnering with Samaritan House to give warm coats and toys to local children and families in need during the holiday season and throughout the winter months ahead. Our warm coat and toy drive will kick off at the Carlmont Village Holiday Boutique Fair on Monday, November 27th at 3:30 p.m. We encourage you to attend this annual holiday favorite event and to give to both Second Harvest and Samaritan House, as you are able.–belmont-christmas-tree-lighting-holiday-boutique-fair

This week many of us will gather with our families and friends around tables heaped with food. We will give thanks, not only for the feasts laid out before us, but for all of the ways in which we are lucky.

We here at Serendipity School recognize how very fortunate we are to have such an amazing student body and such a warm and supportive community; our cornucopia indeed overflows. Thank you for all that you do, give, and are. We wish you joy and abundance during this holiday season and always.

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