Since writing my last post I have myself become convinced that living a life with nature in mind makes modern living hard. It takes time to cook and eat slowly and see life laze slowly by. It’s hard to own animals of one’s own and tend to a flourishing garden and use less electricity and water and paper. It’s daunting to learn what food to buy and what to write off as chemical creations from brand name companies. It’s scary to realize after all these years that the disc of pink mush I’d eat in my bologna sandwiches is not actually bologna at all but a ”meat” impostor with the name taken from a land far from the one I live in.
I am convinced that I was born in the wrong time in the lifespan of humanity where just now we are realizing that we have to go BACK to old ways instead of moving to the ones towards the once bright and prosperous future.
When people leave corporate jobs for simplicity.
When permaculture becomes a necessity for a healthy land and soil and produce.
When terroir is something I didn’t think was a concept in food production.
When we must walk or ride a bike in place of drive.
When we must eat less meat.
When we fear what we eat.
And then when people are ignorant of all these things or downright disregard them, it makes me feel as if the daunting task before me is to save the purity and majesty of daily life before it’s too late. Living simply is also living clean and pure and healthy yet the way I live in the center of the great United States of America makes me feel as far away from those ideals as one could get.
I could spend a lifetime without knowing the intimate necessities that the Earth demands of our actions and those that the earth does for us in return. I never knew that permaculture could create self-sustaining ecosystems that flourish without the need of our pesticides and fertilizers. To me, most of my life was spent living in the reality that without these human chemical constructions then our food supplies would grind to a halt. Little did I know that the soil itsels was alive with living organisms that could help tend our fields of produce in only we helped them along.
I never knew that the U.S produces more corn than all of humankind could eat and still believes it must create more and more and more under the guise that more is better even if we drown ourselves in the process.
I never knew that there were words like “the force which causes mushrooms to push up from the earth overnight” which is Puhpowee stemming from the dying language of the Potawatomi. In the world in which I Iive, we do not care enough to make a word for this. We take the rising of mushrooms for granted and thus never describe the way shoots push up from the ground and unfurl in common literature unless one reads samples of poetry. In any other case, the flowers just grew.
The general response to these questions and realizations is “don’t worry about it.” If I do not worry about it then who will? Concepts of life presented by mother nature are slowly dying out as more and more people are told not to worry about it.
I have to worry that my kids will never see a living polar bear.
I have to worry that the food I put in my body is inadvertently filled with chemicals and antibiotics and hormones.
I have to worry about growing my food and canning the excess and eating locally and getting into the sunshine and away from the electronica traps that surround me.
I have to worry because I do not want my children to grow up in a world that took the spirit of the land for granted.
The Soil and the Air and the Water and Trees have all been on this land far longer than we have and yet we disrespect the life that already exists by ignoring the way of life they live and implementing our own.
We are guests. Our short life spans make us impermanent on the earth and what guest would thank the hospitality of the homemaker with whom they stay by destroying the furniture, wasting the food, and gluing thick posters on the walls over the pictures already hung there with care?
I live in a period of time where the guests are beginning to overstay their welcome. While difficult, if those of us who care about being beneficial guests took up more of a voice and a drive and a lead by example attitude, then the whole of society will benefit from the message.
Mother Nature already has the answer for everything. We can do a better job of listening.