Jurich: Is your mother a monkey?Written by Stacy Jurich | | firstname.lastname@example.org
?Mulberries. Strawberries. Cherries. Black Raspberries. Red raspberries. I’m pretty giddy right now. Fruits are bearing steadily, and rapidly enough that if you snooze, you lose. It’s that gradient window of perfect picking, tantalizing your drooling mouth that brings a sense of urgency. Once the cherry is smooshed on the ground or the teeny tiny worms infest the mulberry, game’s over.
I had never harvested cherries before, and decided to climb a perfectly placed rung of branches on the cherry tree to pick the cherries from bottom to top. I made my way in bare feet to the first low, sturdy limb with my two quart container. By then it was clear I’d need something bigger, so I grabbed a big flimsy plastic basket made out of material similar to rain boots. I stood in the tree and filled the small container with juicy, large, dark red cherries, then dumped them down into the basket below.
This experience was really engaging and energizing. I was in the moment and in tune navigating branches and figuring out which ones would support of my weight and how, manipulating thin branches to curve toward me so I could harvest the far ends and eating cherries along the way.
By the time I neared the top of the tree, near a height that my head almost met the highest point, it began to rain. It was one of these gorgeous summer evening rains we’ve been having. I did not mind getting wet; it was not a blinding nor cold rain. A feeling of being primeval came over me, as I was perched in the cherry tree gathering food. After a couple of minutes of soft and fresh rain, I saw lightning in the distance and began to work my way down.
As I was in the tree, gripping branches with my toes, I had thoughts of our primal roots as humans, even before it began to rain. When I first got in the tree, a sweet elder man in the garden had asked me, “Is your mother a monkey?”
I thought this was cute, especially considering the endearing personality of a man whose body and memory is aging faster than his witty mind. This question was actually not so far off, considering our evolutionary history as Homo sapiens. At the same time, modern humans tend to be disconnected from this ancestry in many ways. Even as I was in touch with my roots in the tree in the rain, I was still thinking about posting a picture on Facebook.
There is a picture going around Facebook of what a zombie apocalypse really looks like. It shows a group of young people walking down the sidewalk with their heads down, eyes glued to their cellphones and fingers texting. It is happening already. We spend so much time communicating through a screen and younger generations are losing valuable interpersonal skills. Screen talk removes the responsibility of immediate consequence and experience of another’s emotional reactions that exist with face to-face communication, along with the dulling of other senses and mindfulness.
There are some positive outcomes of technology … the debate of the pros and cons of technology is not uncommon. From children, however, as they are closer to the age of pure instinct and animal than are adults, we can learn a lot from them by encouraging and nurturing their intuition and keeping them connected with nature.
I consciously try to balance the parts of myself. One part lives in this weird built environment with strange and mysterious and mind-blowing objects and technology that I can not begin to wrap my head around, and the other part of myself that knows that we are animals and have instincts to follow, both in the mind and body. We have an intuition and skills that can easily be buried by menial tasks, unfulfilling jobs and those damn cellphones.
Consequently, with intent and also with natural desire, I spend my time harvesting cherries and the like, and allowing myself to cover myself with mud from the bottom of the river, even if others find it strange.
Not that we will go back to loincloths and wooden clubs and swinging from tree to tree, but there is some movement back to our roots and back to the land.
Find your inner animal and surprise yourself and your spirit with something wild.
Tags: Stacy Jurich