Saturday, April 21, 2018

Simplicity, Complicity, and the World We Are Creating

Last month, a talk I gave in January 2017 was included in a Best of the Left podcast, "#1173 Think transgenerationally, act simply (Culture and Environment)."  In light of its re-surfacing, I thought I'd share the text here, lightly edited, in honor of Earth Day. 


I grew up in gardens, a jungle of string beans and tomato plants, peonies and lilacs. 
The year could be marked by trips with my dad to buy seed potatoes and onion sets. I helped grandma pick grapes from the vine and watched for weeks in anticipation as she made wine that I was not allowed to touch. I can’t remember a year without the whistle of my mother’s canner or the slow simmer of a new batch of apple butter. And when we visited great-grandparents, we inevitably braved the briars to collect pails of blackberries and gooseberries, soon to be pies. It was natural to move between the gardens and our childhood games, back and forth. There was never any question for me of the connection between the soil and the plants and our own lives. Our health was bound up together.