A swift, refreshing breeze drifts up and over the ridgeline and brings a euphoria of relief to my sunned face. My fingers run through my hair, stiff from the accumulation of dried sweat, gained from a morning of rewarding labor. The last of this day’s lunch spread has joined the table. Food tells a lot about a person, and in this case, it can bring illumination to a connection of intentional living arrangements.
Naturally, my eyes fixate first on the vibrant array of food placed so seductively before me. In one bowl, sliced potatoes, zucchini, and squash are coated in an aromatic blend of cayenne, cumin, salt, and pepper. In its neighboring dish, peaches, blueberries, pears, and apples coalesce to form a gorgeous fruit salad.
The first story within the food is the food itself. The BRS homestead has created a system which is not reliant on the mainstream global food market, which most people shop within. Food is grown on the property or obtained from the local farmers food auction, for a substantially smaller price than normal grocery stores. In addition, the homestead has canned, frozen, and stored a supply of food which is readily available for a meal and can be relied upon when seasonal food is not abundant, such as in colder months.
Also within the food, is the water used to cook with and to drink for the meal. The homestead has designed a rainwater collection system to provide for all of its water needs. The rainwater is collected from the roof, stored in a large cistern, and then purified for daily use.
Energy is needed to make a meal as well. The homestead’s energy is supplied by a moderately sized solar array. These elements of BRS eliminate the need to be reliant on large-scale systems, which we have no control over. It reduces the capacity for a toxic, soul-sucking emotion to emanate, fear. A word that seems to gain momentum, fueled by the media, and radiated into all of our souls.
A country that idealizes freedom and independence is caught in a wave of insecurity. This insecurity can lead to hateful fear upon others; blaming things such as immigration for the feelings radiating within. Immigrants, the people that mostly make up the migrant farm workers in this country, supporting the food system most people are ever reliant upon, end up receiving the blame.
This fear does not need to be exhausted endlessly down these channels which cannot be controlled. Things that we do have power over can boost our confidence and self-reliance. Growing a garden, creating a simple water harvesting system, sharing meaningful stories, eating a local meal, enjoying the company of others, or taking any other little step to grow some peace of mind for ourselves allowing us step away from the mass hysteria and put together our attainable pieces of happiness.