Of Friends, Fear, and Presence
I got an email from my friend Holly today. She is the hardest working gal I know, keeps a full time day job, grows for her own small CSA, and does singing gigs a couple of nights a week. She wanted me to know she had read my post Today In The Garden and loved it. Her timing was perfect. I was just giving myself a hard time about not writing something more practical, you know, some how to information, or prepare for this or plant that, when her email came. Out of gratitude for her email I write Of Friends, Fear, and Presence.
I have been googling to learn about some particular herbs, native plants and weeds lately. This evening every blogger I found who is writing about what I am searching for is preparing for an apocalypse, plague or disaster of some sort. Ok yeah, I have some serious concerns for the state of the world right now, especially when I consider how we will feed ourselves quality food into the near future, and like most of us I am suffering from some eco-anxiety (No, I didn’t make that up, I heard about it on NPR.), but I see that I am not as worried as some, or not as able to react. I am not peddling as hard or fast.
I went to one site and I even bookmarked it because there was a list there of things the author was doing that day that was 25 activities long and included swimming in three different water bodies, several different canning activities, foraging, feeding, picking, pickling, collecting, bartering, curing, getting, and smoking bacon. The next column was her menu for that evening… Who is she? Superwoman? I needed a nap after reading her schedule, and mind you she sat down at the computer at some point and blogged about all of this!
Another site I found while searching out herbs and edible native plants was written by someone who is preparing her household and family for a disaster, or pandemic, and writing about it. It is very interesting. She has recipes on site for white wash and even discusses why pioneers may have white washed their barns and cellars. I learned that white wash was made from a paste of lime mixed with water. These are both nice blog sites. They seem reasonable, not crazy or anything, but after reading about such industrious people I worried that there wasn’t enough importance in the message from my last blog. Holly’s well timed email message helped me realize something.
The blog sites I visited today seem so busy and intent upon serious preparations as though we haven’t a moment to spare. Those blogs make me feel even more fearful. Fearful because I am not the superwoman that these gals are, or seem to be, and fearful because I can’t function with the expectation of disaster upon me. I get done what I can, I do my chores, I tend soil so food will grow up, I make my habitat a healthy ecosystem, cook something fresh for dinner, write a blog, and I sleep ok at night, and hope to get more done the next day. If we are headed for doom what good is surviving if we don’t stop along the way and smell some roses while they still bloom? how will we remember roses? If disaster comes and we are struck down before we open the first of our home canned tomatoes have we been present in those moments that made up our lives? and if doom does not come do we wake up one day to wonder what the world is like outside of our bomb shelter confined mentalities and to wonder where our lives went while we were scurrying around to prepare ourselves for some blighted future?
Fortunately not all blogs I see hit me this way, It was just one weird google search. Mostly I see people blogging about learning to do things we should never have forgotten anyway. No matter what the future brings our kids should use their hands to collect eggs laid by their pet chickens. We should grow, and have available to buy, good quality fresh food, and learn how to put some up so that we can have our own home grown food out of season. We should learn to do what we can for ourselves and others, together with our friends, families and neighbors, that make us more sufficient and interdependent people, and we should be present for each moment of time we have spent, because the gift of happiness in life is not in what was gotten, achieved, or put by, but in that for which we were entirely present.