I was having a conversation with some online friends last week. We were discussing how dependent everyone is on other people: we get our food at grocery stores, our medicines at the pharmacy, our building supplies at the big box stores, etc. The thought we were discussing was, if something terrible happened, like a satellite taking out a huge energy grid, could you sustain yourself for weeks or months?
I knew that Jeff and I could do it. In many ways, we still live close to the Earth. He hunts and fishes. I grow plants, mostly flowers now, but in our past, we grew a large vegetable garden. I used to can tomatoes and pickles and apple pie filling. We saved onions over winter. We grew and stored potatoes. We froze green beans. Today, I still freeze tomatoes and apples and homemade pesto. This past year, I froze pumpkin too. I make jams yet. Our home has two fireplaces, and we have our own woods. We would not freeze in a Minnesota winter.
I think we could survive. The worst part of living close to the Earth would be not having access to necessary medications. The best part of living close to the Earth would be the simplicifation of life as we know it. No television or radio or computer or smartphone. Just each other. Think how a person could declutter their home if we didn’t have all those gadgets!
Living close to the Earth allows us to get back to our roots; literally. It takes us back to the most basic form of being human. Of living in the moment, rather than always looking forward to the next moment. Yoga is like that, as well. The mat represents Earth. Our breathing represents the moment we are in. In yoga, we learn to be in touch with our bodies. We are aware of our surroundings, but become detached from them during our practice. There are props we can use, but we most often modify our poses by using our own body to make changes to the pose. We take our bodies close to the Earth during our mat poses, and yet we remain grounded in the mat during our standing poses. Even those moments of balance, when we might step off the mat, we continue to be connected to our mats, standing near them.
So the question becomes: could you live close to the Earth? What would you need to do, to be closer to the Earth? is there something you can do now, to bring you closer to the Earth?