I grew up spending my summers on Lasqueti Island where my Grandparents had a homestead. There were no utilities or paved roads on the island - although my Grandpa had a generator, some solar panels and had dug a well. My Grandma had a huge garden. She grew copious amounts of produce throughout the summer and then canned, canned, canned. Below the house was a root cellar where there were rows and rows of rickety shelves filled with Chutneys, Pickles, Salsas and just good old fashioned vegetables. My Grandma would can our leftovers after a meal. She always had a saucepan on the stove with a few lids and jars in it. As she was tidying up the kitchen she'd get her jars and lids hot and sterile and then give her leftovers a waterbath. Easy Peasey. My Grandparents made sure that in rougher winter conditions they'd be able to sustain themselves without relying on the foot ferry that came only every few days. I've held my Lasqueti Island memories close to my chest for many years but, they cloud how I view the world. When I see young hipsters talk about sustainability I scoff and think, 'grow a garden buddy and then get back to me'.
When I see young mothers sending their kids to Waldorf Preschools or when I see friends my age grow huge gardens and make pickles I think, 'Hallelujah!'. The bottom line (in my opinion), is that we can talk until we're blue in the face about protecting the environment and promoting sustainability but, without a connection to the land it's pointless.
There needs to be a longing - in us as humans - that calls us back to nature in order for there to be any true understanding of how important the concept of sustainability and subsistence living truly is. Whether the 'something' is spiritual, emotional or maybe even family (like a generational farm) driven it doesn't matter - the something needs to exist. The something that's just a little bit more than wanting to make a buck, wanting to fit in with our hipster friends, or wanting to not be judged by neighbors.
I think the world we live in is suffering from a generation lacking the something. Too much time spent indoors playing video games, not enough time spent outside getting muddy and building forts.
I try to remember that I need to cultivate the something. It requires nurturing, time, and attention. For me, my something feels most nurtured in Hawaii (probably because that's where it feels most comfortable). I hit Hamakua soil and my body relaxes a bit.
Where am I going with this? I expect, if I feel a longing for more something than others do too. I'm not an expert on how to get more, I don't lead a sustainable lifestyle, and I don't always put the environment first (although Miss Bridget I swear to goodness I recycle!). The thing is the something more motivates me.
It makes me put things on the 30x30 list like canning spaghetti sauce. This way I can pretend that I have a garden, and I grew tons of tomatoes this year, and if I don't hurry up and can them they'll be a waste, and then what will we do this winter?!