Near the end of 1998, I was fortunate enough to visit a Hopi Reservation located in North Eastern Arizona. I was there, upon invitation, to play Reggae Music to a gathering of Hopi Elders at the Hopi Cultural Center. The reservations mainly consisted of three major mesas spread over 1 1/2 million acres of land. I felt honored to present this music to a crowd of Native Americans who seemed, not only to understand Reggae Musics message of social justice, love and unity, but embraced it as if it were their own (Bob Marley is regarded there as a multi-cultural prophet). I was also excited to talk with some elders and learn about their culture, especially as it related to farming, food and natural living.
While no one there ever heard of the term “macrobiotics,” I found their lifestyle to be much more connected to the earth than the majority of “Americans.” Their practice of natural farming illustrated similarities between those of world-renowned Japanese natural farmer, Masanobu Fukuoka. In addition, I was told, farming is of utmost importance because it teaches community and family responsibilty. Instead of video games and computers, children here spend their days studying plants, trees, birds and other natural phenomenon. They know the names of the plants in their enviornment, they can identify different species of birds; they dont need a weatherman to tell them what the weather will be.
I also felt happy to find them to be “down to earth” people, much like people I have encountered living in the Caribbean Islands. These indigenous people were naturally friendly and welcoming, qualities not so apparent in the city atmosphere in which most of us live. These attributes are inside all of us, as human beings; its a matter of reawakening them and discovering the love that waits beneath our crusty exteriors.
We, as Americans, have buried our nature, as we fill our lives with daily chores and meaningless habits which, in the long run, cost us dearly, mentally, physically and spiritually. If we step out of the rat-race for just one day, slow down our busy minds and simply observe nature, we begin to see the light. By practicing a natural lifestyle; learning to cook, farm, and self reflect, we do more to understand our nature, our community, our children, our lives, as well as our tremendous healing potential.
You start to see things with your own eyes and feel them in your heart.
The garden is a good place to learn. While many value and seek scientific knowledge through colleges and universities, I find that the lessons taught by nature to be more valuable to me as a human being. Its simple. Or is it?