It seems there is a language that exists, understood by the body to be good and righteous. The simple feeling of wellness, the rising sense of peaceful joy that emanates from the earth below our feet. The feeling of a caring and familiar touch, warming the bellows of the heart and filling the consciousness so full of love there is no room for worry. Why is it that it seems so hard to hear, that I have forsaken it for comforts that eventually disconnect me from the very life source and leave me more uncomfortable with myself in the end? The message I realized today I (and presumably as a product of my culture we ) have become too complicated to enjoy; we are not simple enough. Our lives, our thoughts, our relationship are more complex than previous generations. Messages get lost in translation, skewed in reproduction; our thoughts are muddied with the silt accumulated with the raging flood waters of projections, judgments, fear and anxiety.
This is not to say any ONE person is held fully responsible, more so that we all have a choice. Today I was a reminded of this as my beloved partner Wren and I dug into the Earth. Nothing fancy, no grandiose plan. Just shoveling earth to prepare the way for amaranth seeds to grow into new life. I was reminded after somewhat of a hiatus from the land-based lifestyle how deeply nourishing it is to work with Earth. Hands touching the body of this planet. The skin of our host held tenderly within my palm. I didn’t feel the least bit dirty or lowly in the cultural sense, but felt so humbled, so at peace and so grateful to be able to engage in such a task as growing food.
In my time with the soil, I felt a deep peace arise, a calmness and ease afforded through the physical connection with source; the Earth. The very thing that the culture dictates as dirty, lumped into the category of inappropriate and distasteful. The language necessitates we refer to the Earth as dirt, the making of undesirable conditions. Yet as I dig, I sing my praises aloud, feeling so much gratitude and prosperity at the opportunity the work with life source that feeds us. Very similar to the way so many campesinos worldwide do, tending to their plot on the side of a hill. So simple, yet so elusive.
The ancient way of touching the Earth with our hand reminds me of my ancestors and what they would think of today’s fast paced urban buzz. Would the previous generations be proud to see where we have taken human culture? Would our ancestors be happy to see our sick polluted waters, deserted landscapes and ill people? Could I be wrong in perceiving the simple act of cultivating land as inherently valuable? Is there an end which our culture hopes to get to, at which point all the destruction and exploitation will seem worth it, where all the stress and posturing will be validated?
Being raised in an urban setting, 2 generations removed from a land based lifestyle I wonder where we’re heading. If my grandmother moved from the farm to the city, and my parents are working away at stressful jobs to keep their semblance of security, then what am I to do? What more is there to achieve? I figure it as part of a larger cycle of slumber and wakefulness. We are reminded of what is valuable and worthwhile (relationships, un-taxable commodities like clean air and water etc..) after having been distracted by the allure of comfort. But it is this very comfort that slowly creeps in and threatens our sense of well being and connection. It is the overly comfortable lifestyle that allows us to live divorced from life, where outdoors is a place to visit but not to live. Where things come from the store and go to “away”. It is this comfort that I was raised with that allows me to forget the language of the Earth. The feeling of being in line with natural rhythms, in relationship to the environment. It is the comfort that affords me the opportunity to reflect and choose another way.
In my various wandering and travels I have witnessed so much beauty, diversity, resiliency and also struggle, oppression and hardship. I’ve wondered how other people’s values and culture beliefs are shaped. The trend towards modernization seems to have spread like a virus, hijacking the DNA of its host to meet it’s needs. Traditional methods are lost, species destroyed and language forgotten. And for what? Convenience. Would our ancestors be proud? Would the unborn children be glad to see we forsook the Earth that provides for us for a more comfortable life? I wondered this as I dug, as I touched the Earth, an my body understood more of what it means to be human.