- Bread and Crackers
- Coconut Products
- Cookies and Bars
- Fats and Oils
- Flours, Grains, and Legumes
- Fermented Vegetables
- Fermented Food Starters
- Milk and Cream
- Salt and Spices
- Snack Foods
- Supplements & Superfoods
- Yogurt and Kefir
- Books and DVDs
- Kitchen Tools and Appliances
- Non-Profit Organizations
- Personal Care
- Simple Food
A mother of many children uses her strong arms to haul in yet another bucket of water from the creek. She wears simple clothing that is handmade, from all that she could afford – a needle and a thread. That needle and thread were held in her hands for hours as she squinted to make those stitches over lantern light after the children were quiet in bed.
She sleeps next to her husband in a one-room cabin, surrounded by the stirs and heavy breathing of her many children. Those children spend most of their day helping mama keep the fire hot, the water bucket full, and the food cooking. The other part of their day involves helping Papa tend the animals and the plants, and learning from their school books under the tutelage of mom and dad.
Her husband falls into bed hard every night after 14 and sometimes 18 solid hours of outdoor work. Wood to split, animals to feed, plants to tend, butchering to do, supplies to fetch, structures to build… the work is always long, always physical, and always fulfilling. It gives him time to think and see the Lord’s handiwork in swinging an ax, planting a seed, and culling a rooster.
Everything they own can be eaten, used to make food, worn, read, or held close and squeezed goodnight while whispering "I love you." There is no toilet… no washing machine… no water pump.
Every morning they thank the Lord that they have so much while deserving worse than nothing and every night they go to bed with hearts bursting full of joy and contentment because they have never been told that they "deserve" a better "quality of life".
That woman is not me and that life is not mine.
A Little Perspective, Please
No, my life is much easier, my arms more squidgy, and my heart more frequently filled with the angst of a generation without an ounce of perspective and whose hearts overflow with entitlement rather than contentment.
To some who stop by this space and see that we do not have a toilet or a hot water heater or more than 300 square feet, I gather from their comments and emails that some view us as poor people or even martyrs for our cause.
That couldn’t be further from the truth. If you take away our solar panels, this laptop I write from, the solar refrigerator we have, the freelance work that allows us to continue to build infrastructure, the sink I wash dishes in, the help I get every week in washing those dishes, the nearby town where we can purchase anything we need, toilet paper (for crying out loud); we have so. much. more. than most people have had throughout the entire existence of man and most likely much more than most of the current world population.
Because of the desperate pursuit of a very specific quality of life that was most frequently only held by the very wealthy, we have no historical perspective on what is truly needful to exist.
- If you have food and shelter and warmth then you probably have more than many.
- If you live in a place where tonight you will not fear for your life and that of your child’s then you have more than many.
- If your children are all still living then you have been spared the pain of losing half of your family as many people have throughout history.
- If you have more than a few sets of clothing then you have more than most.
- If you have access to clean drinking water then you have more than some.
- If we have more than any of that then we need to consider whether we need it, and whether having it has dire consequences.
This is Civilized?
In the western world there is a prevailing way of thinking that to be a civilized people is to have flushing toilets, electrical lighting, appliances that wash our laundry, immediate and daily access to baths and showers, and a career away from the home that doesn’t involve physical labor.
But tell me…
What is civilized about foregoing our responsibilities as parents, stewards, and community members for a job that feeds us the money required to live this life of comfort?
What is civilized about having no connection to the soil from where our food comes?
What is civilized about turning the other cheek to the entities we rely on for our livelihoods while they ruin the soil for future generations, poison our children, and perform science experiments on unwitting entire populations?
What is civilized about a people who will go to any length to secure resources, tax the land irrevocably, and put their hands and those of their children into the shackles of dependency on the most wicked and greedy entities imaginable – all in pursuit of a level of comfort?
What is civilized about a people who will verbally protest against the entities who "take their rights, their money, and their religion" away, but aren’t willing to give up a few comforts in order to stop being dependent on those very entities to live?
We are trading the very lives of our children and our children’s children for the ability to avoid a backache and flush our crap into oblivion.
And yeah, it makes me mad.
Because the only thing I can think of that could be worse than a people who think they need this quality of life is a people who think they deserve this quality of life.
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my (grain-free) cookbook
All information found on Nourishing Days is editorial in nature and therefore meant to motivate and inspire rather than be construed as medical advice.
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