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So Far Away

by Tomaca Govan

We’ve gotten so far away from where we should be.  Our modern society slowly poisons our bodies and our spirits.  This is indicated by growing violence, the failure of our educational system, the increase in diseases, etc., etc.  

My mother grew up in a small town in Virginia. She and her brothers and sister were raised by her single parent father.  Her mother died when she was two. 

Nowadays we consider a single parent dad to be a novelty.  It’s not the norm.  And, when divorcing a spouse, it’s usually up to strangers in a court room to decide whether or not fathers can have custody of their children.  

My grandfather never remarried and never dated. His soul mate was gone and he chose to live the rest of his life alone with his children. Things went reasonably well for this single parent dad. The children held up their responsibilities of doing chores and going to school and dad worked to sustain his family. They didn’t have a lot of material things, but they had the essentials – a home, food, each other and love. 

Free-range, organic chicken. My mom laughs at the concept of such a thing. That’s how things were in her day naturally. They raised chickens in their yard and the animals roamed freely. The family had fresh eggs and meat. Today it’s the latest rage to buy free-range and organic chicken and eggs. We now know chicken and meat produced by the industrialized standards are not emotionally or physically healthy. Chickens are crammed into small cages (which makes them crazy) – confined for their lifetime, debeaked and declawed to keep them from injuring each other, fed a regular diet of antibiotics and other drugs to fatten them up, to dye their flesh a certain color to make the meat more attractive to the consumer and to “keep them healthy” because of the poor conditions they live in.  Then they are brutally slaughtered (which sends a rush of adrenaline through their bodies which just happens to be toxic for the eaters), sliced and diced and put into a neat little clear plastic wrap covered container for us to buy. Our long-term ingestion of the bodies of such beings make us sick.

Also, there is no appreciation on the human’s part – no gratitude for the sacrifice these animals make.  Native Americans and other people of the earth had practices that involved things like asking the animal for their life, apologizing for taking their life, doing things for the earth in appreciation for the life of an animal and regardless of how they did any of these things, they always, always, always said “thank you.”  There is a balanced respect and for all life on the planet.  It was recognized that everything is spirit and everything is connected.

Sure, lots of us have the practice of saying grace before eating, but how many of us really understand the reason for saying “thank you” to whomever we offer this gratitude for a meal?

My mom’s family never took it for granted when another being gave up their life to feed them.  There was always gratitude, respect and appreciation.

This was also extended to the garden of vegetables that the family grew in the yard. You planted seeds and food would grow – and without chemical applications.  They knew which plants to grow when and where.  Insects were balanced out by growing plants that would naturally repel them.  This was a science that was not considered science to them, just how things were meant to be. 

Again, our commercialized society grows food while applying toxic chemicals to kill insects and use growth enhancers. Then the actual processing of food for canning and freezing applies more of the same science by using even more chemicals to stabilize, homogenize, and all kinds of other “izes.” The result to all of us is a slow long-term poisoning that results in cancers and other kinds of disease creating chemical imbalances in the body.

In 1922, you went to bed shortly after the sun went down because there were no electric lights and television that people could distract and entertain themselves with. You could read a little by the light of the oil lamp or the light of the fireplace. But, because you rose with the sun and with the rooster’s crow, you knew you didn’t want to stay up too late and be tired the next day. There was another day coming where you had to go to school and the chickens needed to be fed, the garden needed to be tended to, oil lamps filled and wood made ready for the fireplace. The rhythm of life was so different and in tune with the rhythm of the planet. Things were as they should be. 

Our priorities and values, though still needing to be about having the basics, have become distorted. We pursue things of no significant spiritual value and fill our lives and our houses up with things that we don’t need.  As a society, we’ve gotten so far away from nature, spirit and the way things were meant to be. The good news is that we can always go back.  It’s not too late.