Sunday, August 05, 2012


In these past days I've been following my little plants growing. My tomato and pepper flowered. And I thought, gee I'm not a total incompetent. Is it going to bear fruit soon?But at the same time, when I stop to think more deeply on the subject of planting and harvesting, I'm afraid.This week I went with my husband to Plymouth, the city started by the Pilgrims who fled religious persecution in England.They have a village called Plimoth Plantation, which recreates life in 1627. Each family has its home, each house with its garden. They planted and ate the fruit of their labor. There was no electric light, no telephone, no mall. But everyone had enough to eat, what to wear, and how to protect themselves from cold. They landed there in 1620, a desert land (because the local Indians had been decimated by disease), and in less than seven years had a self-sufficient life.And we? We depend on the fragile technology that surrounds us. What would we do if, suddenly, we had no electricity? We lost all ability to survive - the one our ancestors had mastered so well.Is our life more fragile today than it was back in 1620? We have cures for many diseases, better control of nature, but not by our own abilities - it's thanks to technology - technology based on electricity. If we lose our beloved electricity, what have we left? we are accustomed to a life of comfort, and forget that it could collapse any time. And if it crumbles, what have we left?And why go that far? Why go back to 1620?My grandmother certainly led a life far more self-sufficient than me. My grandmother certainly had more knowledge of how to survive than me. That was 70 years ago! How is it that in three generations all that knowledge that was passed on from parents to children has been lost? Knowledge of thousands of years ... lost - because the current technology made it unnecessary. But the current technology lives literally hanging by a thread. What if the thread breaks? How unprepared we are to survive! We do not know how to treat animals for own consumption, plant gardens for subsistence - in school I learned that whoever did that was the poor peasant. We, people of big city, practice the following subsistence culture - the supermarket. We don't even know how to make our own clothes! 
 I'm afraid - afraid that much valuable knowledge is lost forever. And one day we might need it.As I wish I could bring back the tradition of passing knowledge and traditions from parent to child.

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