Survival: Seeds and a Bodhran


  I am sitting at the kitchen table this morning, writing these thoughts on paper with a pen. I have forgotten how much I love the feel of a writing instrument gliding across paper. I’m having trouble with our internet connection today; it’s stormy and out here in the sticks, it happens.

                But, . . .  it’s brought thoughts of ‘what if’ to my mind today.  Well honestly, these thoughts have been bubbling around in my head for a while; I’m just giving them a playground this morning.

                Have you seen the show, Doomsday Preppers? (on the National Geographic channel)  The theme song for the show is, “It’s The End of the World As We Know It”.  That song rattles around in my head—catchy tune!  Anyway, I’m sure that what the producers had in mind was a show of pure entertainment value; let’s showcase a few ‘fringe kooks’ and we’ll all kill an hour together.  It’s creating a different kind of reaction in our household; it’s causing Jason and me to think about and discuss ‘what if’. Not a doomsday kind of situation necessarily.  Haven’t all of us at one time or another in our lives experienced ‘the end of the world as we knew it’? Transitions: graduation, marriage, kids, divorce, death. This home where we are now, . . . big transition. We aren’t here because we went looking for farmland; only a place to lay our head.  It is becoming a farm out of necessity.

                Several of the people on Doomsday Preppers believe that the ‘end’ will come due to economic collapse leading to a collapse of our infrastructure. Some of us are already there; jobless or working jobs that are inadequate to provide us with enough income for even the basic necessities of food, shelter and clothing.

                I see so much discontent around me as well as in myself; my employer requiring more and more work of me while decreasing the hours I’m given to accomplish it, as well as a job that provides no sense of accomplishment; no sense that I am making the world a better place.  But discontent brings about change and so, . . . the farm.  Decrease the need for food money, we’ll grow our own.  The farm also takes care of the job satisfaction part, providing healthy, fresh food for us, our animals and others while returning health to our little piece of the planet brings a sense that we are making the world a better place.  And so, now we are farmers; following in the traditions of our ancestors!

                Now back to the part about the Doomsday Preppers.  For the most part, it appears to be just one more fad; another new facet of consumerism driven by fear.  These people are spending thousands of dollars stockpiling preserved food, supplies and weapons; enough to last for up to 5 years in some cases.  My question is, ‘then what’?  After the supplies run out, how will they eat?  We are realizing that if we cannot make the money to buy what we need, we must supply it ourselves.  So we are choosing to focus on skill building.  I am very fortunate to have had parents who grew up in the Depression.  They taught me how to grow things, preserve food, cook, sew, and build.

                I have added to that knowledge over the years, honing and refining; making my own discoveries along the way.  Together, Jason and I are learning about raising chickens for meat and eggs.  We plan to add geese this year.  We share skills.  I’m teaching him about saving seeds. He is teaching me archery.  And as a tribute to our ancestors and to feed our spirits as well as our bodies, we are learning to play the bodhran, together.

                So where will we be in winter the year that ‘the end of the world as we know it’ happens for the rest? As much as I’d like to dream of sitting on the deck of a cruise ship, soaking up the sun, . . . we’ll probably be right here around the woodburning stove, bellies full, pantry full, seeds safely tucked away for spring, playing rhythms on our bodhrans: life ‘as usual’ on the farm.


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