Monday, November 29, 2010
There were trays of walnuts and almonds, apple slices and pomegranate seeds, pickles and olives set out on the table. My grand daughter came bringing the deliciously cooked turkey and pumpkin pie. I brought out the cauliflower salad and apple nut salad and made the gravy for the mashed potatoes. I had sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes ready. The turkey was carved and everyone settled with plates of food in front of the fire. The children ran about my little farm and then would come in to warm by the fire. They explored the pond, chased the chickens and enjoyed a day in the country. A day of simple country pleasures on my little farm.
When I was a child my mother used to say, "Clean your plate, there are children in India starving." Just this week I saw a show called, "Cooking Dangerously", about people who have marginal lives and how they cook to survive. There was a segment about India and the caste system that still exists in practice if not in word. Those on the lowest caste system must live only on rice cooked on cow dung pies. The children make the fuel from cow dung, water and straw and dry them in the sun so the rice can be cooked. They must work 12 hours in back breaking labor harvesting rice for the richer class in order to just eat. They have no hope of ever owning anything. Other lower caste members must live off the mice and rats they hunt in the fields. They roast them over a few twigs in a fire.
This same show went to Venzuela where the super rich pay $85K to be a member of a golf club. Chavez is trying to develop food security for the poor with organic gardens and giving land to the poor. Unfortunately all the poor can do is squat on the land as they have no money or seed to plant without paperwork of ownership. They have huge soup kitchens where the poor can go with their containers and get meals to take home to eat. The rich complain about these programs for sure.
I have a small holding of land that I bought for little compared to what land in the state I lived in. I am continueing to plant trees and other food bearing plants that I hope will create my ideal. The scripture that says, "Let everyman sit under his own vine and fig tree." I have no desire to pretend to be someone important, I only want a measure of security and peace.
I believe the caste system is alive and well. The early pilgrims came here to get away from the oppresion of the rich and arrogant religious leaders. Yes, today the average person is laboring for the rich and all the comfort and security comes from debt not real ownership. Let's stop pretending we are kings and queens and realize that real goodness comes from being grateful for what is real and in harmony with nature.