I’m sure you’ve heard people say there is beauty all around you, but do you stop and look? I can think of nothing more engaging than the beauty of nature. Some people look at a field and see grass, bushes and trees. That is one perspective. But if you look closer, what else do you see?
Did you notice the dragonfly perched on the waving grass stem, patiently waiting for lunch to fly by? Did you follow the wave of the wind on the tall grass as it moves across the field? Do you see the flowers coming to life while others soak up their final rays of sun before giving up their last bits of strength to their seeds? It’s amazing what’s going on in that small little field, if you stop to look.
Strange, almost alien looking plants abound. If you look even closer, they could be considered lethal!
Weird berries that birds eat, but would make you very sick.
Or a grasshopper holding very still, almost posing for the camera.
How about an old farm. The barn is still standing, the fence still strung, but no livestock grazing behind it. What stories would we see if the history of this place was written on the walls inside?
Would we read about the farmers daughter getting her first kiss behind the barn from the neighbors son? Maybe the farmer was kicked by a horse one fall, and walked with a limp the rest of his life? How many animals were born in that barn?
Maybe his first two children are buried in the field, their markers overgrown with brush. Life was very hard for people in our not to distant past. Many did not live past their forties. Many women died in childbirth, or were left barren after a miscarriage.
I think people were much stronger then, physically and mentally, than we are today. I hear someone complain about this inconvenience, or that minor problem, and I wonder if they or I could last one full year with TRUE hardships in life? Would we work hard enough, put away sufficient food and wood, to live through a bad Maine winter? Could we build a strong enough house and barn to shelter ourselves and our livestock from the driving winds? I think many of us would die that first winter. Even so, did they actually have a better life than we do now?
I’ve read stories from authors in the 18th and 19th centuries, and I can’t help but think how much simpler their life was. There must have been a great sense of accomplishment knowing you could truly “fend for yourself” if you had to. There were no handouts other than what your friends and family could help you with.
People actually helped each other then, instead of just writing a check to a charity, and then writing it off on your taxes. If you were hungry, they took you into their home and fed you. They would give a weary traveler a place to sleep without worrying that they would steal something. I’d like to see Nancy Pelosi do that! Never going to happen.
Are we better people now vs then? In some ways yes, many other ways NO! If you won’t bring someone in from the cold, go to a department store and buy them a sleeping bag. If you can’t cook them something, at least take them somewhere and buy them a hot meal. I’ve done these things and I will do it again. I will never forget the look in that man’s eyes when I gave him a pair of old boots. I shared my lunch, and he shared his bottle. I hope he is still ok.
All this, even most of the photo’s, from the back of a truck stop while sitting in Kentucky.