Experience…the shaper of our perceptions
It’s been a long month, and we’re less than three weeks in. Humans are odd creatures. They often profess to have an amazing range of skills that we realize later that for lack of experience, they really know nothing at all, and many are not up to, or able to face sometimes the simplest challenges that others consider nothing more than a simple operation.
Living in the Sierra for eight years we gained skills, we also brought 20 years of farming skills with us that included a lot of self diagnostics before you call in the big guns to repair tractors and various other pieces of machinery or even a simple clogged drain. Farming is a bit like living in the Sierra, it is a sink or swim world, if you do not have a certain mental outlook to try to tackle just about anything the bank will soon own your farm. There is no place for managers or foremen unless you are swimming in cash. Sometimes we forget, not everyone has these skills. We have lived in the wild, but the majority of people currently live in urban areas. Rural areas cover 97 percent of the US land area but contain 19.3 percent of the population. The skill sets necessary for living in rural areas are dying. On the bright side, we’ll survive the zombie apocalypse, many city dwellers will not;)
A great sadness overcomes me when I think 80% of the population does not know where the North Star is in the night sky, as it is so polluted by light they can not make it out, or they have never had the chance to watch the Milky Way rise in a dark sky, our very own Universe, hidden from them in suburbia.
When people struggle most of the time it is a question of common sense, which we have learned is not so common. When the power goes out and a girl sits at the sink and does not understand why there is no water, or why she can’t go to the gas station and pump gas we are in big trouble. The things the populace takes for granted are astounding to me at every turn. It would not have surprised your grandparents I’m sure, but many, right here and right now, yes, are surprised, if they even realize it, at their lack of knowledge for sometimes the simplest things.
When hanging your clothes on a clothesline makes you feel like a pioneer I can’t help but think many have been living in just a bit of a bubble, or is it me? Left behind by all the niceties of civilization? Perhaps it is me that was left behind. No dishwasher, or dryer. No toaster. Limits, that would be the Sierra. I guess that is the word. So many people living with little to no limits is the rest of it. If you want grapes out of season, bang, you go buy them. Want a part for something, damn, it’s a long 15 minute drive to Home Depot…really? I think it is a big part of the instant gratification problems we will experience in the future. I do not think the following generations will enjoy the lifestyle of the previous ones. This generation is clogged by garbage. Everything they eat comes out of a package, can or bag, not a garden or butchers paper. Local is non-existent to many that live out of freezers from CostCo. I’m wondering how long that will all last, that enormous amount of waste and packaging. It scares me. Not the dark of the night, or howl of a coyote, I welcome that, but the nightmare of enormous amounts of garbage:) Maybe I am the weird one. But once removed, no one goes back the same, the Sierra sees to that and yes, that is the good thing. It makes you realize how we take so very much for granted and how we should think and make most of our decisions carefully for the future.
I admire the ones that are trying to get out and stretch their limits. They often arrive with fear in their eyes, just the road is enough to do that for many, but once out, and back in again they often scratch their heads and wonder what all the fuss was about, they have learned…when they want to learn and really try, they will take away from their time in the Sierra, and a foreign country so much. You can communicate without speech, and survive without a giant box store to service your every need. You can grow. This is essential for humanity. Once that stops, we are doomed as a species:) I’m not going to hold my breath for humans, but I am going to hope we can learn different ways of living, and respecting everything around us is a good place to start. perhaps a school for common sense is in order? 🙂
Saludos amigos, keep living, looking and stretching out of your comfort zone!