THE OLD WOMAN FROM THE BUSH

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It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since we began our tutelage under First Nations cultivator Audrey Logan.  With so many lessons to learn the end is no where in sight, today is a good opportunity to review what we know and see how far we may yet travel.  We’re not the first people to be in this position and far from the last as this next story points out.

Long after the Sky Woman fell to earth  http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2012/05/23/sister-strawberry/ the people of the land, her children, thrived in harmony with the world around them.  They grew in numbers and family’s branched out to form tribes, they spread far and wide, they were healthy and happy.  They found everything they needed to live in the natural world around them.  The food, shelter and clothing they grew and made would last them for years.  As time went on these inquisitive and inventive people improved and perfected their products, manufacturing tools, weapons and homes.  They created beautiful, functional clothing and ceremonial ornaments to show their distinctive styles and locals.  As the distances grew between the tribes some areas could not provides items that others could, trade was born and it too thrived.

One tribe became talented artisans, they counted on their products to trade for food.  Every year they would bring their wears to festivals and gatherings, returning home with the food they needed to see them through the following season.  All was well until conflict prevented their traditional trading partners from attending the feasts and ceremonies.  In a sence they had traded away their food security.  The first year the people of the tribe were not worried about these changes, they would try again.  When the time arrived for a gathering and the food growing tribe was again absent the people still did not worry, they would grow their own food.  It was the third time when the people’s crops had failed that they came to know a scary truth, they had forgotten how to produce food for the group.  A meeting with the chief and clan mothers was called.  No solutions for their plight were discovered but some children overheard their elders and had a suggestion for them.  “You need the Old Woman from the Bush, she knows how to grow food”.  “Yes” said the council “go run to her and bring her back.  We will make her a feast to welcome this teacher”.  The children found the Old Woman and she agreed to help the tribe.  After the meager feast the Old Woman began to speak.  She told the stories of the Bear and the Deer.  She spoke of the animals and plants that lived around them.  These talks seemed endless to the hungry people and they became impatient, “Stop, we need to learn to grow food, we don’t need stories.” the clan mothers said.  “We can grow food for ourselves, you can go back to the bush, we’ll be alright.”  The Old Woman returned to her home.

The fourth crop failed and starvation crept upon the people, the council again turned to the Old Woman for guidance.  This time there was no food for a feast, but the Old Woman was kindhearted and returned to help the tribe.  She sat down with the people and began to tell the stories, after a day the Clan Mothers in desperation stopped the Old Woman.  “We are starving, you must show us how to grow food, no more stories, we’ve heard them all before.”  It was then that all the children who had listened to the tales finally spoke up.  It was difficult to confront the elders but the children were brave, “Can you not see the lessons in the stories?” they asked.  Do you not know the stories show you how to grow food?”  Then the old woman spoke “The boys and girls are right, you have all the knowledge you need, it has been inside you all the time.”

“OH, we have been unwise” said the clan mothers, “we do know how to grow food, the lessons from the animal and plant spirits have been with us all along, thank you Old Woman for showing us the path within ourselves.”

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