Going back to the basics

I have spent some time this week thinking about the things I used to do, some of which I could still do if I put my mind to it. Our ancestors did lots of things for themselves, made clothes, grew food and so on. But how many of us do these things now. I was taught at an early age to knit and to sew. I can knit complicated patterns for sweaters and sew quite complicated patterns for clothes. When my children were very young I knitted all their jumpers and made many of their trousers, skirts and dresses. Even though I no longer do these things I can still sew a button on if it comes loose and I can still replace zips in skirts and trousers. I wonder how many of the young ones today can do that.

I also learned to bake cakes and pies and to cook nourishing meals from scratch, no ready meals were available when I was young. At least I knew what was in the cakes and pies I made and all meat was sourced locally. I still cook from scratch generally but occasionally have a ready made meal such as lasagne as it is a lot of trouble to make it just for one person. I used to be proud of the chilli pasta dishes I made in the past.

In the past there were Guilds for craftsman like silversmiths, cordwainers and so on. Many of those skills have been lost as machinery took over. Some are returning but they are seen as speciality items made with love and care and generally quite expensive to buy.

Is it lack of time that is the problem? Many of us work long hours and are tired when we get home so take the easy often where cooking is concerned. It is the same with sewing but that skill is returning due to TV programmes such as The Great British Sewing Bee. I still sew small things such as cushion covers and occasionally make myself a pair of trousers as they will fit better than bought ones.

So what has this got to do with druidry? My way of living druidry is a simple way so I feel I must make the effort to live simply as well. To me that means I should try to grow my own food as much as I can. There is something very fulfilling about watching your vegetables grow in pots and produce lots of fresh food for you to eat. The taste is so much different that the veggies bought in shops! I can make my own bread if I want to and again the taste of that is so good and I know what ingredients are in it. As for making clothes maybe I should look at my stash of material and start sewing again. My mother used to make rag rugs and I have inherited her ideas for these too.

Doing these things will also help the planet as I will not be using plastic or manmade materials at all. To me this is a large part of who I am as a druid. The photo is of my mother and her mother, my grandmother to whom I owe my skills of cooking, baking, knitting and sewing

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