Harvest Time

  • Aperture: f/2.8
  • Focal Length: 170mm
  • Shutter: 1/500 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D1H

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Sometimes I wonder if people were happier when they lived closer to the land. Our modern-day world seems so far removed from that of our ancestors, so complicated and out of balance with our day to day life needs.

As I type, my back is aching but it is not from the good, honest hard work of a day doing laundry or plowing a field. In all likelihood, it is the outward manifestation of the inner knotting of my mind — a physical reminder of my tangled psyche. Our ancestors didn’t have time for such nonsense. There were mouths to feed and crops to harvest. They took their cues from nature’s ceaseless cycle, automatically moving from one day to the next with a simple, rote purity so foreign to today’s technologically-driven society that it seems merely a work of fiction, the product of some author dreaming of another world.

I look at these jars, their contents carefully harvested and prepared by hand, and I wonder if it really is as simple as it seems. Rise with the sun; work till you’re tired, eat when you’re hungry; sleep till you’re refreshed and begin the day anew. There is no longing for the past, no yearning for the future. There is just the present, the breathing in and breathing out, the sharp bite of winter’s edge through thinned flannel, the call of a distant crow as the wind rustles the barren trees standing stick-straight against a chalk white sky.

My reverie is broken by an Instant Message on my computer. It is a cruel joke, this concept that we can turn back the hands of time, seize the stolen innocence that still courses through our blood but will never pour free again. Our shiny new world has become our gilded cage, our brief moments of respite glimpsed only through our lenses.

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