Remembering the Humble Human
I believe one of our primary ecological functions as humans is to heal the planet by creating soil/humus.
We have no excuses not to participate in the regeneration of land, even if in the smallest of ways.
"Blessed are the humble, for they will inherit the earth." -Mathew 5:5
"Humility, that low, sweet root, from which all heavenly virtues shoot". -Thomas Moore
It is not a coincidence that the words "humble", "humility", and "human" come from the same root word that the word "humus" comes from, which means "close to the earth".
When we describe someone as being "Down to Earth" we are typically describing someone who is simple and modest. We often aspire to be more like them because they bring us a feeling of safety, familiarity and acceptance when we are around them.
In my personal experience I can remember the most humble people in my life were what we called "country folk". They were the farmers, gardeners, and homesteaders that worked on the land most of their lives.
Even when I traveled to different countries...I noticed the same characteristics in those closest to the land. These people tend to have no need to argue their beliefs...yet they are grounded in their truth, consistency and kindness.
On the other end of the spectrum...when we are swept up in pride...we have this tendency to get really cerebral about our beliefs. We often want to be the one who knows what is "RIGHT" and point out that others are wrong. The opposite of humility.
This self-righteousness is at the core of every major political, dietary or spiritual debate. So much pride and blame...and "un-groundedness."
In my own life...I've been through stages of being wrapped up in pride and materialism for long periods of time. Only to be awakened and "humbled" through bouts of suffering and pain.
I longed for a "down to earth" feeling during those frightening experiences and I was often pulled out to the garden or the forest by a seemingly mysterious force.
One recent realization that I've had is....when we are espousing dietary dogma...without reciprocating Nature...then we are still part of the disconnect that we are attempting to point our "unconscious" friends to.
If you are sitting behind your computer eating food that you have no connection to...apart from buying it at the grocery store...you are in parasite mode. You are not closing the loop. You are feeding off of a mono-culture, soil-depleting system that is sucking the life from Gaia...the larger sentient organism that we are all a part of.
If we can shift to this expansive perspective instead of debating our second-hand beliefs...this is where we can all become teammates. How can we work together to close the loop...become symbionts instead of parasites.
How do we get "down to earth"? How can we humble ourselves before our Mother and allow her to teach us how to be human in this world again?
This is where humus comes into play. And this is the easiest way to close the loop...become a soil creator....or what I like to call a "poo flinger". It's as easy as creating a worm bin that you store in your garage or on your back porch.
Humus is the organic material in soil. It is not a form of soil, rather it is the broken down composted remains of leaves, grass, and other organic matter (kitchen scraps) contained within the soil. It is highly nutritious and rich in minerals and living microbes vital for healthy plant growth. The major farming practices that support our diets, no matter what we are eating are depleting this resource at an astonishing rate.
We MUST team up to protect this resource. The soil is where we came from...and where we will all eventually return. More and more, we are seeing research that supports the idea that exposure to soil is what builds our immune system. So it will not only benefit our larger organism...it will benefit you, your children and pets to have humus rich soil to play with. Personally, I let my kids play in the worm bin daily. It is encouraged here.
It is this underground web of life that nourishes all beings on Earth...animal and plants. If we could unite with our brothers and sisters to restore the health of the soil by doing just one thing...it would be to compost your food scraps. The next step would be to start growing your own food...but this is at least a start. Anyone can do it!
Here are a few links to get you started.