Saturday, December 12, 2009

rethinking city life

We as Americans are an uprooted people. We are disconnected from our families and from any place on earth. This is resultant from and contributive to the exploitive attitude toward the earth and the people around us that characterizes our nation. This is why we middle-classers go to college and then move wherever we want without much consideration of going back home to the place and the people who raised us. This is a brand new phenomenon in world history – that people leave their families during their youngest and most useful years of life and set off on their own. And it is a bad phenomenon. We need one another. Our families need us. My family needs me. My kids need their grandparents, and someday these kids should be using the strength of their youth to care for their grandparents.

Also, we need the earth. We as a people have no idea how to get food from the land. The art of husbandry has been lost on us. We are at the mercy of agribusiness to look after us and they couldn’t care less about us. I was thinking on the way to work this morning that our vast urbanization can’t be sustainable. More than half of the world’s population now lives in an urban area, meaning they don’t grow their own food. I don’t think this can last. I think the urban thrust will eventually lessen as our mental and physical health deteriorates. (I’ve read that studies that have shown that living in the city is actually clinically depressing). The urban setting is so thoroughly un-natural. I walk around and think “acre upon acre of concrete and story upon story of dwelling can’t be what God intended this land to be used for?”
So I feel a need to be in a place less scathed by man. And I feel a need to learn to grow some food because I don’t trust agribusiness. I want my kids to have the option of being farmers if they want to. And I feel the need to be near my family. And there’s one other thing.
I have a longing to go to a place where my family will live for the next 500 years. I want to settle down, and dig roots deeply. I want to buy a house to live in until I die and pass it off to one of my granddaughters to upkeep its land eat its fruit with her husband, or something. I know it’s not likely, but I don’t think the city is much of a place to pass on.

1 comment:

Holly said...

I agree with you...I feel the same longings..yet I believe NEEDS christians like you and Beth. Your example, your wisdom are powerful! The city is lost, the families are broke down... Your family is a light in a dark are lighting the way for the broken around you. Not that you wdn't influence others in the country, but in a dark dark place a small light shines far brighter.