October 20, 2017

Open Your Eyes To Simplicity

"There is nothing you need to achieve.
Just open your eyes."

 - Siddhartha Gautama

We look, but we don't see. We hear, but don't listen. We eat, but don't taste. Touch, but don't feel. We survive, but don't live. Everyone is too busy striving.

Striving to achieve, but achieve what?

A more sincere existence? A better world? Peace? No.

Not in a capitalist consumer culture in which we are trained to strive for other, less honourable manufactured, profitable and ultimately soul destroying desires.

  • Material Success
  • Physical Perfection
  • Power
  • Money
  • Prestige

And of course, More, More, More.

No level of achievement is ever enough, because there is ALWAYS more to buy, consume, and hoard. The thing about the School of Consumerism is that you never graduate. You are never done. You always need to achieve more.

It sounds more like a prison.

We already have everything we need. If you can't be happy with a simple life, you won't be happy with the more complicated consumeristic alternatives either. Quit striving to achieve the things you are told to want, and you break free to live in a more natural, satisfying way.

Open your eyes to the joys of simplicity.

October 19, 2017

Apple Harvest

“Give me spots on my apples.
But leave me the birds and the bees.

- Joni Mitchell

One of the joys of the fall season is harvesting apples. There is nothing quite as invigorating as being out in the crisp, fresh air on a sunny fall day picking organic apples. Free organic apples.

A year ago I discovered an apple tree on the land surrounding my home in rural Nova Scotia. I have been looking forward to this moment since the end of my first harvest. On that harvest I picked a few months worth of apples, an amount that I equalled again this year.

While the two apples pictured above represented the most perfect specimens of the whole lot, most had blemishes of the type you never see in stores. 

The reason store bought apples are so perfect is because they are one of the most sprayed foods in the produce section. Nature is messy, and it takes a lot of poison to clean things up. Those toxic chemicals are not good for people or other living things, like pollinators, so I prefer cleaner, more interesting apples of the organic variety. 

The tree where I gather my apples is an ecosystem to itself. These are not for the exclusive use of human beings, so the fruit is enjoyed by many species. From deer to worms to fungal diseases to birds, many living things live and dine here.

This is no for-profit industrial chemical wasteland. This wild tree is free to feed all that come to it in search of sustenance. Come winter, this apple harvest will be sustaining me.

It doesn't get any fresher than this.

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