Saturday, January 19, 2013
I imagine we are fairly ordinary and not the slightest bit unique. We've gradually become more and more educated and aware--whether it is about chemicals in our food; or the cost in gas and pollutants for shipping food and items from far away; the politics of water; or health effects of stress and an overwhelming schedule. In the past decade, I've become an active advocate of public transportation, started riding a bicycle or walking whenever possible, and gradually felt my psyche pushing back on plastic packaging, disposable everything, and the super-pacing of modern life. Teri spent nearly a decade as a vegan--reading and informing herself on ingredients and health choices, and backpacking throughout the Pacific Northwest. Now, that we're together, our accidental quest continues.
We are not driven by a self-righteous craving for perfection. In fact, we're pretty honest about our bumbling attempts and questionable knowledge base. I still crave the French fries once in a while and indulge in a scrumptious bag of Sea Salt Kettle Chips; Teri has a weakness for dark chocolate anything. Increasingly, however, I find myself reading labels, steering toward the bulk foods and the blemished organics, and choosing local restaurants where I know the food is either locally sourced or organic. The simple fact that I use terms like "locally sourced" seems a bit of an odd evolution for me.
I know our little lives can seem like an episode sketch on Portlandia, but I suppose that is what makes the show hit home for so many of us. We really are becoming a bit obsessed with slowing things down, fermenting something in a big glass carboy, or learning how to save our own heirloom garden seeds. Last night, as Teri and I walked through the local Good Earth Home & Garden show, we strolled past a cute, but impractical, little chicken coop/tractor with 2 or 3 hens inside. It dawned on us that a year ago, we were just getting excited about the possibility of the backyard flock and we knew nothing. In one year's time, we could name the breeds of chickens in the coop and comment on how impractical the coop was as it lacked real shelter from any sort of weather. A year ago, I didn't really know that there were so many different breeds (I think I thought they were all varied colors of a few main hybrids--if I thought about it at all!) or know the difference between a chicken coop and a chicken tractor.
Our journey is an organic one on many levels--organic in that it seems to be a meandering path of learning, making choices, taking chances, and asking questions; and organic in our growing yearning for simpler, more authentic, better tasting, healthier, and, well, earthier experiences.