Another Time

I can’t help it, but I can’t stop thinking about our weekend in Pennsylvania.  This morning on my walk to the grocery store I kept thinking about being out in the mountains in Pennsylvania and how in the 1800’s if you didn’t have the onion, potato, beef, bread – or whatever – you simply didn’t have it.  The people who settled our country had to work for their food; had to work to make whatever they needed; had to work to clothe and feed themselves.  It was another time.

In many cases, we have forgotten so much of our pioneer roots.  Just the simple work of canning a pot of tomatoes over the weekend brought all this back to me.  My sister-in-law had never canned before and didn’t have all the particular implements to do the job . . . so, she took a trip to the neighbor’s and borrowed what we needed.  As I walk the urban streets to the grocery, I realize that in many ways we have forgotten what it means to be a neighbor.  We have forgotten how to rely on the land and how to interact with each other – how to borrow and lend, or how to share our wisdom and our bounty.

There is something to be learned from remembering and honoring the work and hardships our ancestors had to endure to make a place where we could live without such difficulties.  They offered us grace.  Perhaps we need to remember more often and offer grace to others in our own age in the form of buying seasonally and locally.  Perhaps we need to think about supporting family farms, doing the work of our own canning and preserving, and appreciating what our local produce has to offer us during this harvest season.  Doing so might be an exercise in grace.

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