Posts tagged: homesteading

The End of an Age: The Dawn of a New-Old Age

Sit, be still, and listen,
for you are drunk,
and we are at the edge of the roof.
-Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi
Everyone knows it deep down. We are coming to the end of an age. “We are at the edge of the roof,” drunk on the power of dominating the Earth. What we cannot see in our drunken stupor is that even  if we do not fall now, there is a great change coming. Mother Earth is readying herself to break the shackles of her enslavement.
During the so called “Enlightenment,” we allowed coal to dirty our lives and sully our reason. We came to believe ourselves in need of it. This “Enlightenment” brought great “development” and left a trail of destruction, not only of our Mother Earth, but also of our collective intuition, creativity and empathy. Modernity meant monetizing fossil fuels that were created many millions of years ago, putting ancient power in the hands of a few. This “power” is destructive to our collective Earth home, and each one of us should be outraged that it has been permitted to continue for the disparity it created in class and the disrespect it spews at our mother. We must take it personally. We must hold our governments responsible for allowing the enslavement of our mother, turning her into a prostitute, pimping her out, stealing her splendors, and soon leaving her and all her children for dead, all for short-sighted profit. The dominant institution of our age is the global business corporation, a psychopathic empire with no empathy, just an eye (one-eyedness/dajallic) for profit. These delinquent corporations hold the legal right to destroy this Earth that cannot be owned by anyone, least of all corporations with no moral compass. We have the right to a healthy Earth home and a safe climate. We have the right to empathy and creativity. We have a right to love our mother and not watch her be destroyed.
In 2012 the atmospheric carbon dioxide level reached the highest it had been in the last 12,000 years. Those are the same 12,000 years that allowed the advancement of agriculture and because of it, civilization as we know it. The era of fossil-fuel is coming to a swift end and with it will come the end of life as we once knew it. But don’t fret. This isn’t some kind of “dooms day” start packing your house full of canned goods type of spiel. Re-connect yourself to mother Earth by learning her ways. Learn about the systems, the patterns, the cycles and in that your will reap great benefit to your everyday life, including your spiritual life. By the grace of God, learning ancient skills will not only strengthen our relationship to the Earth but also to our Creator. Love the Creator by loving the creation.
I am drunk, at the edge of the roof, sitting and listening. And this is what I am hearing:
Learn how to live more simply, Mona. Learn ancient gentleness in the way of your great-grandparents. Live beautifully and humbly. Live in a way that will make your grandchildren proud. Live in such a way that they may thrive. Tread, Gently upon the Earth.
As I look for ways to turn my beliefs into practices, I am finding more and more kindred sprits, searching for the same thing. These searches have brought me to folk schools and folk teachers like these:
Tillers International, located in Michigan, is a radical model of schooling intent on keeping alive the wisdom of our predecessors. They do classes on timber framing, bee keeping, blacksmithing, linen making, ox-tilling and other lovely necessary skills. They use tried and true methods that don’t involve power tools and instead harness the great energy of the human and animal. The heart of their intention is sustainability. Yay! I’ve never personally taken a course of theirs or visited but I intend to in the very near future. Will I see you there?!
North House Folk School has one of the most spectacular and idyllic campuses I’ve ever seen of any school, anywhere. If you don’t go for the view, go for their amazing courses ranging from knife making, shoe making, silver smithing, to kayak and tiny house building. Our friend who lives in nearby Duluth, MN took their timberframing class and then went ahead and built himself a Walden-esque retreat cabin in the middle of a forrest, on the shore of a gorgeous middle-of-nowhere lake.
Regardless of what you believe, these are fantastic skills to hone and cultivate to connect more deeply to lost parts of ourselves and heal the disconnect between us and out ancestors, those in human form and beyond. May you tread gently, with mercy so that the Most Merciful will show you the same gentleness and mercy. May you find sweetness in your life, and be protected, dear ones, from the tyrannies of our age. And may blessings, prayers and peace be upon the gentlest and most merciful amongst our kind, Muhammad.

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