Winter is unofficially here with weeks of snow and soil frozen too hard to dig carrots. The east coast braced for a storm that’s closed New York, and everywhere it’s life as weather allows until we all live in bio-domes.
Recently a young couple told me: Canada’s screwed by corrupt governments, appalling food security and it’s only going to get worse. Compared to these two educated professionals, I’m optimistic.
I want back into the garden for carrots; perhaps on Tuesday evening, after our forecast +8 day – the only one this week – but only after the funeral of one of my dearest relatives. She survived the 1930’s, left Saskatchewan to work in munitions factories during WWII, then returned, married, and raised a family living from the farm.
She carried an unquestioned legacy of love and this spring visited us the same day my garden was ploughed. She planted my pumpkin seedlings. We shared lunch over which I confessed I felt overwhelmed and asked how she ever juggled all her responsibilities.
She smiled, explained that it was a different world then, less stressful, slower paced. There was a time for everything. They didn’t work harder, but wanted less, wasted less, were satisfied, and made more with less. Now we hardly keep up the chase to prove we’re successful.
A post-war economic system created the lifestyle we own today. We didn’t just get automatic washers; we got epidemic depression rates, debt, more gambling, alcoholism, suicide, and drug addiction. We got unsustainable rising health care costs and highly processed food-like products causing new sicknesses.
Once my father told me how poor Auntie’s family was but I lived many summers at Auntie’s and only experienced abundance. Besides one load of manure my father hauled to Auntie’s strawberry patch, I don’t recall him ever bringing her anything.
We never left her empty handed. Whether it was boxes of vegetables, toys she made, clothing or household stuff, Auntie sent gifts in every direction. Giving angels channeled stuff through her clearing house. She wasn’t a hoarder; Stuff came to her; she sent it on, (with hugs) to someone in need. Auntie’s world happily went around.
You surprised her at meal time? She’d dig into the freezer for something to add to a goulash. A baker too, she shared delicious home-made cookies.
So am I optimistic? Absolutely. More lives lived like Auntie’s really could save the world.