“A course of this kind naturally makes many demands, for it will show us to what an extent the interests of Agriculture are bound up with those of the widest circles of human existence and that there is scarcely a single sphere of life which has not some relation to Agriculture.” From Rudolf Steiner’s Agriculture Lecture I, 1924
I talk to people all day long as a physical therapist, as a lactation consultant, as a parenting and homeschooling consultant, and I think there is a lot of despair and unsettled feelings related to overall background of life right now:
The economic situation
The rates of depression, anxiety, suicide in young children
I told my husband the other day that sometimes I feel like we are watching Rome fall, but instead of the Roman roads crumbling and eventually castles and fiefdoms are taking over, now there is retreating into an increasingly physically isolated but interconnected digital world. We saw this during the pandemic with a necessary shift to everything being online, but I think the other thing we saw is that this gave people the ability to move out of cities and find increased acreage/ land due to the ability to work remotely.
So, when people ask me how I think we are going to deal with the things going on in the world, I can’t help but wonder if some of it will be healed by agriculture and coming back to the land. There is nothing like healing emotional and mental anguish with working on the land, being in nature.
Many of us are homesteading in whatever capacity that means to us, whether we are on acres of land or in an apartment. Many people I know have three months or more of water and food stocked up just in case job situations change or the supply chain runs short. Most of the farmers I know believe that hay and grain will be hard to come by this fall and winter, which in turn will affect food prices.
I think the other positive thing that has happened is people are living smaller – Instagram is full of families taking to the road in RV’s or living on boats. Mobility is a good thing, and while full time RV living has been around for years, I think the numbers have really gone up in the past few years. People are opting out of a mortage and instead living simply. They get to be in nature, and pursue hiking, biking, travel, and being together. I think this trend will continue and since housing prices are high, it may end up being a typical way for young couples to start out as well.
So, I often meditate on the fact that we can as a people be healed if only we could return to simpler ways and into nature. I read an article this morning about expats retiring in other countries and one thing they were distressed about was having a beautiful ocean –and sitting on their surfboard or walking the beach and seeing all the plastic float around them.
Live smaller, live simply.
Reduce, recylce, reuse.
If you have land, grow something, nurture something and as we do this people will be healed and nurtured.
So instead of bemoaning the current state of the background of life, I often find the small and still voice – what can I do in nature today? What can I grow today? What can I do where I am right now?