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  • Writer's pictureHolly

The Ancients

I was lucky in this incarnation to have been raised on a farm. As a child, we raised our beef, chicken, duck, rabbit, fish, and vegetables. My mother wouldn't have pigs...they smelled too bad. So, at an early age I was introduced to where my food came from. I had petted it. I had named it. I had fed it. I had watered it. The care and love that I had for the animals gave me a reverence and respect for their role as food in my life. We didn't slaughter what we didn't need. And when we did slaughter, everything was used. Nothing was wasted. My children weren't so lucky. They grew up in the suburbs with an understanding that meat arrived on styrofoam and cellophane, disconnected from the cycle of life.

Humans have been omnivores for as far back as we have archeological bones and teeth to study. Our ancient ancestors seem to have been so much closer to the cycle of life. They were a part of nature. They recognized that they, too, were prey as well as predator. They developed ceremony and festival to demonstrate this recognition as changing seasons determined how nature would act.

It would seem that humans now define "progress" as technology that helps us defeat nature. Anything that helps us to be divorced from the cycles of nature seems to be a good thing. Having any fruit or vegetable readily available year-round is expected. Never knowing where our food originates from is normal. I recently saw a social media post that demonstrated a plastic package of peaches grown in Chile, packaged in Thailand, and bought and consumed in California. And we don't question this as a situation that disconnects us from nature.

Perhaps we can all reflect on nature. Our nature. The natural world. The changing seasons. What nature readily provides, and when. Perhaps pausing, and constraining our wants, to be more in tune with the cycles of nature helps us to recognize our own nature. Maybe being separated from so much of the natural world and the cycle of life, has made it harder for us to recognize our own true nature. Perhaps the ancient practice of ceremony and festival to revere the natural world is wisdom to consider.

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