This is a photo from last year when I started my garden. This is my second year now of serious gardening and I have learned that I am constantly learning new things about how to do it. We are at a perfect juncture in history to be able to live comfortably, safely, and with all the conveniences we could hope to have; with knowledge so accessible, new frontiers of science and medicine are constantly being revealed; convenience being the key thing as to why we always want to make things better and easier. Which is why we don't typically grow our own food nowadays, why we buy our clothes instead of making them, why we get take-out instead of cooking 3 square meals a day.
I challenge any of you to learn a new hands-on skill: spinning, sewing, gardening, wood working, foraging, making your own cosmetics from natural materials, working with metal, the list is endless. It's time-consuming and painstaking learning a new skill sometimes... But through it you challenge yourself, you learn what you're made of, you get to know yourself better. And you appreciate what those in previous generations went through. You end up valuing things that you previously took for granted.
Right now in my garden I am learning that I did not plant enough peas or green beans for a family of 4. The cabbage is eaten by cabbage worms, but the hearts are still wonderfully full and untouched. The brussel sprouts will all need to be replanted because of the cabbage worms, but hey, they're part of a fall garden too so I'm on point there. The tomatoes are just coming on. The celery is getting bigger, and the bell peppers and all those other kinds of peppers I forgot to mark are exploding all over the place! But this is what is amazing: Although I somehow misplaced my Mom's little blue book of all her favorite recipes (I just could spit I'm so mad at myself), in my little wooden recipe box are a few of ones that she shared with me. And they all contain vegetables I am growing in my garden: Corned beef and CABBAGE, Spaghetti with BASIL and TOMATO sauce, and CUCUMBER and ONION pickles. And here's the kicker: because these are MODERN times, I can make the cucumber and onion pickles in the microwave! I'll probably can them in the water bath too... But this way I can enjoy an old recipe, using homegrown produce, with all the convenience that a modern invention and microwave technology can offer. See? Going back (growing the produce yourself, which is hard work and very inconvenient- but very rewarding- and doing what my Ancestors did to sustain themselves) and going forward (using technology, in this case a microwave, to cook it- which is very convenient but not necessarily rewarding) all at the same time. It's the best of both worlds.
So this is just one example of a way you can incorporate Prymal experiences in your everyday life without losing out on convenience. Progress will always occur; there is no way around it. Civilization will always be a "thing". But I have reconciled myself to that and realized that I can honor my past and enjoy convenience all at the same time. It is time consuming and unrealistic to live in this day and age doing EVERYTHING yourself and being completely self-sustaining; not that it cannot be done or that it is not something worth doing- just that for most of us we would not choose to go to those lengths and it would be extremely difficult to sustain on a day to day basis in a modern world such as this.
As humans, our basic needs do not change much. We do things the way we do them out of necessity. This has always been true. In times past, people did what they did in order to survive. But because of progress, we have a choice to do things the way they were previously done because we CHOOSE to, because we see some value in that. It probably isn't the easy way to do things, but it certainly builds character and gets us closer to Nature and to ourselves, and to those that came before us. It teaches us alot about what we are missing in not engaging in community, with other humans, and it teaches us little miraculous amazing things that we might have just previously taken for granted or overlooked. I see these lessons as being invaluable, priceless, and it is what makes us Human. Learning. Appreciating. Community is so important- even animals are aware of this. So, learn little ways you can bring back the old and incorporate it into the new because Human is worth preserving. Start now before it is all lost. You can start by planting a seed. Then by making one of your Grandmother's favorite recipes. Do it with your children (they represent the future generations, to whom one day WE will be the ancestors). You won't regret it. You will realize that "connection" happens on a whole different level, and on many levels at the same time. Go back and go forward simultaneously. Experience the past, present, and future all at once.