Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Idea of Self-Sufficiency

I think the idea of learning to sew and baking bread, comes from this idea, this notion that I need to be more self-sufficent, more self-reliant. I've never been one to shop at Walmart, but I still have my share of garbage at the end of the week. Recently I was reading in a book called Alabama Stitch that during the depression (the first one not this one) that there was no word for garbage can. They had slop buckets for the pigs, and composting and everything else got reused. Amazing!

I know that when I was growing up we had a scrap bucket and a composting bin, and we grew most of our own food so there wasn't a lot of waste. As a young adult, and during the 80's and 90's as we became increasingly a throw away society I didn't pay it much thought. I began to think differntly during the early 90's with a book called '50 things you can do to save the planet'. That opened my mind and eyes to a lot of things and since that time I have become ever more "greener" and now as I see things around me falling apart and as we slide closer and closer to a new depression I feel this need to be self-sufficent, but also a deeper understanding and conscionsness of those around me, those in need. Now is the time to give. I think this weekend I may try going through my stuff, see what I don't need anymore that someone else could put to use.

Then there is the fact that I work for a non-profit, the more the economy closes in on itself the more precarious my situation becomes. One way to be ready is to be able to take care of myself, to feed myself with simple things like flour, water, rice and beans. To grow my own vegtables, to make my own compost(we found this small composting bin at Isabella). To be able to sew simple things like linens, curtains, quilts. I don't know that I can save the world this way, or even serve the world, except that I will be less of a burden on it and on society. This is something I can do and I can prepare for, all the rest is just unnecessary worry about things yet to pass.

It is during these times of hardship, when we all feel the need to shore up our resources, and I beleive the term is 'nest', that we can learn a lot about ourselves. I am lucky that I like spending time alone and do not need a lot of outside outlets. I meditate, read, and contemplate my place in the world already, and this will not change, even though my circumstances might. We have yet to see where this will lead us, but I believe faith, hope and a little self-sufficency will see us through.

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