Thursday, October 2, 2014

Urbanites and the pull to earth

A retreat to nature restores the spirit and the mind


My husband is such a smart aleck. After I painted a picture of familial bliss this past Saturday, complete with blue skies, fiery red foliage, happy children picking apples, and satisfied husbands eating savory applesauce and home baked pie, I thought I'd convinced him he'd enjoy a retreat from city dwelling.

But right before getting into the car he sent this tweet to his gazillion followers:

Wife tells me that apples grow on trees and you can go miles away and pick them. 
Seems easier to go to the grocery, but whatever… 

Clearly, he doesn't get it.

A result of today's plentiful concrete and skyscrapers, today's urbanites have acquired a thirst for the land, for rustic living, and fresh air. This is evidenced by the chicken coops, beehives, and ambitious organic vegetable gardens that now occupy my neighbors' backyards. And, ever popular farmer's markets cater to our new found desire to see dirt on our vegetables and embrace the unwaxed and not so perfect looking, yet still delicious, tomato.

Because somehow we know, intrinsically, that a communion with nature and the earth will revive our spirits and senses. 

My yearly apple picking adventure has nothing to do with convenience. Instead, it's a retreat for the soul, an opportunity to marvel at the clean air and feel the powerful sun warm my body. It's an opportunity to walk the fields and smell the fruity scent that travels down each row of trees. It's an opportunity to savor  that first, crisp bite of fruit and laugh as the sticky juice runs down my chin. It's an opportunity to teach my children that food grows from the earth, not from color coded bins in the supermarket.

That's why the grocery store just won't do.

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