Guest Column: Pondering in spring
By Andrea Hazzard
First Hand Harvest Grower
I have a love affair with a simpler time, and I believe that we create our reality. I have certainly carved out my little corner in this world, and created a space that is filled with the things I love, like chickens, and old furniture, oil lamps and flowerbeds.
You see, I have my own farm. It’s built on the Community Supported Agriculture model, or CSA. Basically, people buy shares in my farm and can pick their own food, grown without chemicals that damage the earth and our bodies.
I have also surrounded myself with work that I love and good people. I have always chosen my work based on my belief in it. I find it incomprehensible to do work that does not align with my life philosophies.
Whenever I have renegotiated the path of my life, it was precipitated by a tidal wave of incongruency within myself. I found a term that I think explains it perfectly, it’s “cognitive dissonance.” It is what caused me to take up the cause of farming, and it is no trifling thing.
It is spring, and I have been putting in as many hours as my body will allow with hundreds more to go, and it’s busy, but quiet as its just me out there, and my mind has been poking at this idea turning it this way and that, so I thought I would share it with you.
How is it that nature happily gets more and more complex? It is her signature you know; the most stable systems are the most complex in nature.
We, too, have created complex systems in our lives. Our homes are complex, cars, governments, countries, and yet our systems do not seem so healthy. They are productive, I suppose, depending on how you define productive, but they certainly are polluting and not sustainable.
I would go so far as to point out that nature, when observed, seems to hum along effortlessly and cleanly, all the plants, insects, and animals are happily waltzing away, and frankly, the biggest problem seems to be us. The system she uses has endless feedback loops and no waste-everything is reused.
In comparison, our system appears like a doughy, lead-footed oaf. It’s truly shameful. So why is it that we have not figured out how to organize ourselves and our culture better? What feedback loops are we missing in our system that we could learn from nature and implement them to make our lives better, to make us happy, and healthy again?
With those thoughts, it’s back to work for me; there are many peppers to transplant. I came across a saying some time ago “Ply your hands at your work, my child, and this, too, shall pass in the by and by,” but I fear that our problems will not pass prettily if we don’t ply our hand at the hard work of understanding and reshaping the collective reality.
Andrea Hazzard farms and philosophizes at Hazzard Free Farm & First Hand Harvest CSA. visist www.firsthandharvest.com.
From the May 19-25, 2010 issue
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