This isn’t a religious post. I’m in no way religious.
But the thought came to me as I did my daily walk how important is the consideration of it.
As I walk round the corn and vegetable fields, past cows and trees, plants and birds and the tiniest of living things I cannot even see, I ponder upon how essential to our daily bread it all is, especially the land beneath and how everything plays a part in providing the food we eat.
At the moment my daily exercise includes many of these rural elements described above, along with some rather battering weather at times. But I actually grew up in the city, have spent much time there and am likely to be moving less rurally sometime soon.
And it is when my feet are on those urban pavements, about as far removed from the earth as it’s possible to get, that reminds me how difficult it must be to educate children about the importance of the land that’s buried deep beneath, of species, of nature. For even though most children may not have it in their daily round as I do, they need to understand that it is as vital to their existence as the air they breathe.
It is, after all, what gives them their daily bread. It doesn’t just grow in Asda!
There’s been a major shift over my lifetime. When I was very young the largest part of the population lived and worked rurally, so more people had the land in their consciousness. Now that’s shifted to the largest proportion of people living in towns and cities.
Along with that shift there’s also been a shift in attitudes, in politics, in awareness. Most people are now just aware of the countryside as recreation, oblivious to its essentiality. Oblivious to the fact that the land and the species it supports, supports our life as well, gives us our daily bread and our daily breath too.
And somehow we have to get the seriousness of that concept into children’s education even when they are as far removed from it as many are.
So how do you educate about and look after the land from the city?
You do that through your lifestyle because even though you may be miles from it, your habits have an impact on the land.
There are regular reminders in the media and sites like ‘Sustainable-ish’ of things you can do – and not do – to look after the earth.
But essentially discuss with your children and focus on a lifestyle that prioritises:
- Limiting your consumption of disposable stuff (consumerism creates landfill)
- Shopping second hand
- Travelling with conscience
- Decreasing the chemicals used round the home (be aware of your cleaning products)
- Being careful with what you put down the drains (odd I know but contaminates water and land)
- Always minimising your waste (think before you buy)
- Avoiding plastic as much as possible
- Making changes however small
- Making sure the kids get contact with the working land not just parks
- Talking all the time about the reasons behind your lifestyle choices
- Living the idea that more stuff doesn’t equal more happiness!
Never forget that the land, the countryside, the birds and the bees are not just for fun. They are for real, the reality of life and health and sustenance – yours and mine.
We depend on all of it for our daily bread.
I thought maybe it’s a good time of year to reflect on that!