Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Ant and the Grasshopper

I was raised on Aesop's fables. They are after all, a way to introduce moral thinking to young children, and they have stood the test of time. They are tales well suited for the human ear.

I've been thinking lately of the tale of the Ant and the Grasshopper. Here is a synopsis from Wikipedia:

"The fable concerns a grasshopper who has spent the warm months singing away while the ant (or ants in some editions) worked to store up food for winter. After the winter has come, the grasshopper finds itself dying of hunger, and upon asking the ant for food is only rebuked for its idleness. The story is used to teach the virtues of hard work and saving, and the perils of improvidence. Some versions of the fable state a moral at the end, along the lines of:

Idleness brings want
To work today is to eat tomorrow
It is best to prepare for the days of necessity"

As I listen to the news of food crisis in China and Austrailian crop failures, as I listen to well-informed scientists on global climate change, as I listen to well-infomed and moderate religous leaders talking about peak oil, as I understand more about organic gardening and sustainable gardening, I am compelled to become more self-sufficient and less dependent on the things we typically run out and buy.

Maybe that is because we have known real financial difficulty in the past and have been sustained by both the food of a vegitable garden and the gentle, healing, hopeful nature of seeing the food spring from the earth to nourish a family; maybe I inherit this from my mother who tried to dig a bomb shelter during the Cuban Missle Crisis; but maybe I am informed by the fables that says that when the sun is shining and there is money for the lumber to put in raised beds, gas to haul good soil, and the means to make a little housing for some poultry (in a way that is pleasing to the eye). Maybe Aesop speaks to people because these are universal truths that last season in and season out across the globe, maybe we would be foolish to not take measures to provide for ourselves if a winter should come to the perpetual summer our society has experienced over the last 80 years.

This then, is the basis of what I will journal as things come along. If all we do is save money by providing a little for ourselves, then that is a good thing and worth the effort. Digging up one's lawn is eccentric, and it is also statement of how uncertain the world feel just now, and how I want to live a life that produces for the good.

1 comment:

Ruby said...

We have a vegetable garden and some chickens and it is awesome to eat fresh eggs! Have fun.