I read somewhere, a while ago, that 90% of our population now lives in cities and less than 1% actually work as farmers. That number has become so small that the census bureau has stopped counting them all together.
I spent the day in our nearby city. I go there to work, but on those trips, I just go straight there and back again, always skirting round the edges. Today, I was in the heart of the beast, navigating through endless, oppressive bureaucracy and the overwhelming frustration of a broken, incompetent medical system. It is a chaotic, cramped, miserable place filled to the brim with unhappy people and a poverty of spirit. The endless asphalt walls, relentless traffic, metal detectors, armed guards, light, noise...it all presses in, crowding out reason.
Home again, shed of the constrictions of so-called civilization, flashlight in hand and a good dog at my side, we head out in the dark to walk the starlit woods. The only sounds, the scree-scrunch of hard-packed snow, the distant howl of a coyote, a far off dog calling back and the soft hooting call of an owl. Standing in the still, calm, dark of a night wood, stars and moonlight shimmering above and in the ice below, the world opens, the noise recedes, tension ebbs. I feel safe here, where the dangers are of the earth rather than our own making.
How is it that we have gone so far away from this? That most would fear to walk beside me in the dark yet call the chaos home. How is it that we have given over our jobs of growing and tending, trusting them to the uncaring ways of agribusiness? Believing that the never ending need for increased profit shares will somehow provide healthy food and good earth. All this in exchange for the harsh angles, hard lines, unforgiving planes and the coldness of a concrete life.
How did we get here and is there a way back?