Often when I work on tasks, I tend to ponder things. This week I harvested peas for drying, and I thought about how much time it truly takes to produce your own food. It is not surprising to me that once most people began working outside the home, that purchasing easy, quick (often low quality) food became the norm.
But I think more was lost in that transition, than good quality food.
Perhaps it is where we began to lose our ability to focus in on details, because we simply didn’t have the time to do it. We could just depend on someone else to do it for us. While it is easy for people to point the finger at certain age groups for not paying attention to detail; it is a cultural shift that I have noticed in all ages. While certainly our phones play a part in this, I think it is more than that. Perhaps we have not had the time to pay attention to details, nor the perceived need.
Historically humans have spent a good deal of their time procuring food for themselves and their families. Their very lives depended on it. There was no Plan B. If you were harvesting food, nothing could be wasted; you must pay close attention, because life depended on it. Now we don’t worry much about waste or details. We believe there is always more.
Our current world situation has caused a slight shift though. Many have realized that things may not always be available. Some people have had more time to view these things through.
For me, as I spent a few hours gleaning the pea pods off the vines, my mind shifted from wishing that I was done, to noticing little details.
I noticed how the sunlight showed through the dried pods, revealing the tiny peas inside. I became aware of the vague stickiness that developed on my hands from the pods. I heard the dry rustling of the vines as I picked up new batches. The smell of the coming rain scented the air. What previously looked like a pile of dead vines, suddenly became seen in all its shades and hues of gold. (I wondered what Pantone called each of those colors?) Thoughts of what delicious dishes I would make filled my head.
Then I realized how present I had become in what I was doing; how I had noticed so many details. And how quickly the time had gone by and what a gift that was.