Lately, I have been discovering the joy of wandering in my new garden, plucking at the plum trees, and the tomato vines, and harvesting some lettuce for our dinners. And I have gotten in touch with the gatherer inside. And realized that this ancient part has always been there. Two million years of evolution can’t just vanish. It has just taken different forms. For my teenage daughter and her friends – and for me also until my green conscience grew too loud -, gathering takes the form of shopping expeditions. Men like to collect big cars, and gadgets. Little kids want more and more toys. What served us once very well, has turned into a dysfunctional habit, that is feeding China’s polluting factories.
I propose we become more aware of our gathering instinct, and of the ways that it is moving us, and that we return to its true purpose. Back to nature, spending time in our gardens, not in the malls.