A — 1: I never quite leave home
B — 5: not worse than those who came before us
C — 3: that we are now harvesting
D — 6: just as the farmers who came before me did
E — 2: but human nature does not
F — 7: that our ancestors have gone through this before
Natural Links In a Long Chain of Being
I believe we are not alone. Even if I am on the other side of the world from the farmhouse I live in, I still dream of the ancient vines out the window, and the shed out back that my grandfather’s father built in 1870 with eucalyptus trunks. As long as I can recreate these images, __I never quite leave home__.
All of us need some grounding in our modern world of constant moving, buying, selling, meeting and leaving. Some find constancy in religion, others in friends or community. But we need some daily signposts that we are not different, not better, __not worse than those who came before us__.
For me, this house, farm, these ancient vines are those roots. Although I came into this world alone and will leave alone, I am not alone.
There are ghosts of dozens of conversations in the hallways, stories I remember about buying new plows that now rust in the barnyard and ruined crops from the same vines __that we are now harvesting__.
All of us are natural links in a long chain of being, and that I need to know what time of day it is, what season is coming, whether the wind is blowing north or from the east, and if the moon is still full tomorrow night, __just as the farmers who came before me did__.
The physical world around us constantly changes, __but human nature does not__. We must struggle in our brief existence to find some transcendent meaning and so find relief in the knowledge __that our ancestors have gone through this before__.
You may find that too boring, living with the past as present. I find it refreshing. There is an old answer to every new problem, that wise whispers of the past are with us. If we just listen and remember, we are not alone; we have been here before.