We hope everyone had a lovely long weekend! (We know it’s not Monday but is anybody’s perception of time accurate anymore?)
Among the various changes brought on by the pandemic, we have noticed a common trend emerge in our community. Despite our modern technology (online shopping, takeout apps, and media devices) our current activities are emulating those of a previous generation. What are we talking about, you ask? The kinds of past times which return us to our roots, offering us a sense of simplicity.
Fulfillment without the bells and whistles.
Learning to live with what we’ve got, instead of our material ‘wants’. Despite the resurgence of such activities being partly due to spending more time at home, we hope everyone can take away some of the values they bring us.
In our instant world, it has become very easy to forget where our food comes from. When you can just go to the grocery store and pick up whatever you need, you don’t often think about how it’s grown, where it’s grown, or who grew it. Now more than ever, we are becoming acutely aware of all of these things.
The benefits of gardening on your physical, psychological, and social health has been proven. Among it’s most simple, it connects us to nature. It brings us out of this digitized world and back where we were meant to be. You don’t have to have a lot of knowledge of gardening to garden. It is inherent. We already know what to do (even if you don’t realize it yet) because we, humans, are basically plants. What do we need? Air, water, nutrients. What do plants need? The exact same thing.
There are thousands of resources out there to get you started.Growing your own food allows you to see the nurturing that is required to bring a plant to fruition. It makes you appreciate the time and process it took to have it completed for harvest. It gives us something to care for. It is a process of trial and error, learning how to listen to what your plant needs and then meeting those needs, but the reward can be so sweet!
Gardening gets our hands dirty; it gives us time away from our screens and offers us something to learn. Knowing exactly where a seed came from, how it grew, and where it’s going creates an experience and pride that you can’t get from grocery store produce. And why pay more for a tomato that came from California when you can pick one off the vine yourself (without ever leaving your house)?
This is referring to time spent with family, partners, friends (and yourself) where you give one another your full and undivided attention- not having a conversation while texting or being distracted about work matters while playing a game.
Two months ago, you may have spent your days working long hours, going out to meet friends, or caregiving, then catching up on your social media and television shows in your free time. Sometimes that means true quality time gets placed on the back burner. The above tasks may still be prevalent in your current life, but the difference is we are mostly home bound at all times and have more opportunity than ever to properly connect with each other.
Whether you have little experience in the kitchen, are a pro, or fall somewhere in the middle, you are under the same physical distancing rules as everyone else, which means that chances are, you are preparing more food within your home than you were pre-pandemic.
While going out to restaurants can be a great social and cultural experience and grabbing takeout offers us convenience (and in either case, the economy is being supported), cooking from home allows us to be a part of the whole process start to finish.
Shopping for, and in some cases, growing our own ingredients give us choice and control over what we are putting into our bodies. Cooking itself helps to develop new skills and can be a relaxing and enjoyable activity! It is a form of self-care: you are nourishing yourself and providing your body with energy to carry on throughout the day. Then, you gain the satisfaction of indulging in something you created, which may have even saved you some money.
Also, the community being found is wonderful to see! We have people sharing recipes, pictures, and reviews of all of their favourite meals and techniques they’ve tried out! If you’re interested in a community like the one we’ve just described, head over to Facebook to join our TNDF What’s Cooking? Group!
It is evident that in the face of adversity we come together.
Families are stepping up and neighbours are pitching in to ensure everyone is cared for. Between the online groups of freely sharing clothing, food, and household items, people volunteering their time to shop for others and delivering to their door, and local businesses supporting frontline workers, it’s as if our community has taken matters into its own hands.
We are becoming each other’s allies and advocates against pandemic impacts. Previous generations used to live by ‘it takes a village’ but up until 2 months ago, that saying seemed to be lost in translation. A lot of us stick to ourselves and struggle to reach out for help. Community building helps reduce this stigma and normalizes looking out for each other. Exchanging resources and a (metaphorical) helping hand goes a long way.