I think I’m getting high off mint.
I don’t think of myself as a particular lightweight when it comes to alcohol or medications. (In fact, doctors usually have to use several times the amount they think they need for me to be numbed. And I won’t go into alcohol, at this time.) So, when I was digging up mint out of my garden to replant and possibly sell, I felt a wave of absolute joy from something. I suspect it was a wight of some sort, or maybe an ancestor. It could’ve been me getting high off the heady scent of the mint, but I think it unlikely.
I had planted the mint several years back in an attempt to rid some other noxious weeds with my more preferable version of a weed. Out West, we have the unfortunate situation of having constant invasive plants. The mint, although incredibly invasive, is minimal compared to the other invasive plants, some which are quite poisonous to wildlife and livestock. At least the mint can be eaten without harm.
The intoxicating smell of the mint, the gentle breeze, and the sun suddenly transported me into several minutes of pure joy. I swear, I felt hands on my shoulders as I stood there alone. Then, as quickly as it came, it left, but not before leaving me in wide-eyed wonder over what just happened.
Being Closer to Nature
Our ancestors were closer to nature than we are. Let’s face it, most of us grew up in urban or suburban environments. A few of us actually lived in rural areas. Even so, we still aren’t as close to nature as our ancestors who had to deal with the good and the bad on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong: nature can be deadly, and often is. We, as humans, have learned to keep the bad stuff (as defined by humans) at bay, but unfortunately, we’ve put the good stuff at arm’s length as well.
I moved into the mountains when I could. I’m not unique that I did this nor that I have a meager ranch of a few acres whence I get a large portion of my meat and some of my vegetables. When I do the work, I get the feeling that this is just a taste of the backbreaking work our ancestors had to endure. It wasn’t romantic or pleasant, but it did come with the benefit of being closer to what this Earth is all about.
Both my parents loved gardening. My mom was a Master Gardener. Even so, I don’t recall her
planting more than tomatoes, zucchini, and basil for food. My plants are in container gardens (with the exception of mint) because of the rocky ground here, but I have a variety of lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, tomatillos, beans, squash, corn, and herbs, all in containers. Yeah, it isn’t in the ground, but it is easy to get to.
I don’t know what my grandparents did in terms of gardens. My dad worked on a farm when he was younger and ate fresh food. My mom probably did the same. Her dad was a baker who loved to hunt. I know little of my dad’s side — I know his brothers were hunters. I do know some relatives and have some genealogy charts. Maybe I need to take another look at them.
I suspect that there are farmers and hunters in my ancestors. At some point, all our ancestors were hunter-gatherers. So, maybe they would look at our lives and marvel at the easy way we have it, but also the apparent lack of connection.
I had an odd dream last night. In the dream, I was hunting with my husband (not unusual) at a ranch we had never been to. There were many strange things there, but the oddest had to do with a big pavilion that was set up for hunters. When you went inside, you were in row after row of cubicles with phones and computers, presumably for those waiting. Only, everyone in there was dead. They had killed themselves because they were waiting to hunt, but couldn’t. They were being told to wait, and they could only read while waiting.
None of them bothered to step out of the tent. None of them tried the Internet connection or computers. None of them took the chance to go out and hunt. In retrospect, I think the dream had to do with how people are choosing to live their lives. They are sitting in a row of cubicles until someone tells them they can go hunt, or they go crazy and kill themselves.
I wonder if this is a metaphor for life? People waiting around in cubicles until they die, never taking the chance of stepping out and hunting, even if they were wrong? It makes you think, doesn’t it?
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