Last week, Alan closed on the sale of the home he owned before we met. Yesterday, we went to the bank to payoff the mortgage on our @HomeCrazzyHome. There was a mix-up with the process so he could not complete the transaction. But very shortly, we will be the sole stewards of our @HomeCrazzyHome. But it is a bitter sweet reminder for me of this thing called ‘privilege.’ Not merely white, but middle-class as well.
It is more than just home ownership, it is also an issue of food security. @HomeCrazzyHome comes with a tremendous amount of land. Land that can be used to grow our own food and to feed others. But all too often, homes like ours are not used for those purposes. Lawns and flower beds are given precedence over edibles. Nothing wrong with flowers per se. They are an important part of the eco-system and great for bees, butterflies, and birds, especially native species. And medicinal flowers are important, too.
But the use of land is about so much more than status, beauty, or impressing the neighbors. Indigenous peoples recognized that we are custodians and stewards of the land. That’s why I used that word earlier. Because like them, I don’t believe that land is something you can ever own. Mind you, I have seen more than one person whose home owned them. By that I mean, they did things, stayed in unhealthy relationships, worked jobs they hated, simply for the sake of ‘owning’ their homes.
Stewards and custodians on the other hand imply that you are temporarily managing something for the long term good of others. Often those indigenous peoples made decisions based on the needs of future, generally thinking seven generations ahead.
@HomeCrazzyHome is over one-hundred and fifty years old. That is approximately seven generations. When it was built, there was a fireplace in almost every room, because that was how they lit and heated most of them. The kitchen and pantry were in the basement, as were servants quarters. Our garage was a carriage house for horse and buggies. They could never imagine me sitting here writing something that could be read world wide at the click of a button. Or the cars and roads we have now.
Times have changed. They will keep changing. What this house will be, who will live here, or what this world will be like in another one-hundred and fifty years is as much a mystery to me as it was to them. But in that time, we have learned a lot about what it takes to be good stewards and why we must be better custodians of this planet, one another, and other creatures on it. We know now that they made lots of mistakes that are costing this planet to this day. We have made our own mistakes. And we probably will keep making some. But we know some things that desperately need to change.
When this house was built there were kitchen gardens out back. Those were torn down and replaced with housing for older adults a few decades ago. A previous owner of @HomeCrazzyHome led the fight to stop that. He was not successful. And yes, housing and change are inevitable. But we need to be more mindful of the cost of those things.
The past year has shown us the fragility of our food supply chains. Yes, we can regularly and cheaply eat things like pineapples, bananas, and mangos that those Victorians never or rarely had. But at what cost to the environment? And what happens when those things aren’t so readily available? Even something as simple as lettuce. Post-Brexit there is growing concern and a bit of occasional shortages of it. Yet, trust me, lettuce thrives in this environment. I can easily grow more than we could ever eat, and I have.
So, why aren’t we? Why aren’t more of us growing our own?
The good news is that more people are. Yes, still not enough. And often it is a privilege of the middle-class who need it less, because they/we have the land, resources, and access to knowledge to do it. But as that crazzy-cool Jesus dude said:
To him whom much is given, much is expected.Luke 12:48
You don’t have to be a christian to recognize the wisdom of those words. That is why our @HomeCrazzyHome is as much as responsibility as it is a privilege. That responsibility that extends beyond just this moment, our needs, or wants. To our fellow man. To this eco-system, the flora, and fauna in it. And yes, to those future generations. How we manage those responsibilities are more of a legacy than a nice house or pretty gardens. They reflect the depths of our souls.
So, it is my pledge as partial custodian of @HomeCrazzyHome to…
- To grow as much of our own fruits and vegetables as I can.
- To share the surplus with our neighbors, especially those in need or those without the privilege of being able to do so for themselves.
- To foster medicinal flowers and the knowledge of self-care that was once common place.
- In the process, not to place our human needs unduly above those of other life forms. But to strive of balance.
- And to the best of my ability leave our @HomeCrazzyHome and this world a better place for future generations.
I hope you all will hold me to that. I recognize it won’t be easy. Especially in world that still values all the wrong things. But now I need to get off here and go do that instead of just preaching about it. I have carrots and sunflowers to plant.
Oh, and I’ve switched days, @HomeCrazzyHome blogs will now be updated on Wednesdays as I am trying to reserve more of the weekend for self-care.