Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cages and animals

A lot of people look at the life we lead here and say "I could never do that" or "why do you bother". This strikes me as a little strange, since the things we do we're common place a few generations ago. I really believe that everyone is capable of living a little closer to the earth, though not everyone wants to be a farmer.

I believe in a lot of modernities. I adore gadgets, particularly computers and my iphone is never more than an arm's reach away. It's not that I want to go back in time. But I do think that our modern culture comes at a price. A disconnect from the natural world caused distress in my life. Before I started even basic gardening and hiking- I was constantly restless, often depressed and tired. Sitting indoors daily drained me. It wore me thin. And sometimes I see those symptoms in those around me.

People laugh when I tell them farming saved me, brought me back my health. My hands are scarred and I am never without bruises or aches. In the summer, i work 14 hours each day. I get how it can be confusing. But I sleep well now. I'm balanced, and I know the limits and strength of my body. I feel fully present in my daily life.

We are animals. We are mammals, part of the natural world. There is nothing wrong with enjoying modern conveniences. But we have to also allow the bit of wildness at our core to stretch out too. We need sunshine, dirt, and fresh air. Our bodies are built to accept vitamin d from the sun. There are actual spores in the earth that act like anti depressants. When you cage an animal permanently and deny their very nature- they become unstable. Sometimes they become violent, sometimes listless. We are not all that different.

The life we lead is not for everyone, but we are all critters who shouldn't just be caged. Try it- got outside and be a little animalistic. Get to the woods- feel a bit cold, push your muscles through the snow or dirt. Warm up in the sun. Not on a sidewalk- but in a park or trail. Not in a tanning booth. All of these things have their places, but their still a part of the contrived reality we've created. See the hairs on your arms prickle. Stretch and open your eyes. Notice the texture of tree bark. Hear the wind rustle. Let the walls down. Be alive. Be human.

Tell me if it feels a little better, I can almost promise it will.

"Horses are like humans. Too much confinement in an unnatural environment followed by freedom makes them act bonkers."- Farming with Horses written by Steve Bowers and Marlen Steward

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