Let me explain.
I've never met a small-scale farmer who doesn't question their decision to continue on every day. Farming is really hard work. You wake up tired and sore, push yourself all day long just to get up and do it all over again tomorrow. Barely making ends meet, sacrificing comfort and ease for what often feels like the impossible. Many of the farmers I know struggle with the temptation to take the full time job with health benefits and steady incomes. To choose the work that would allow more down time and weekends off. But they continue on because they love what they do-the dirt, the sweat, the growing of food. It makes them feel human.
When someone makes the choice to support that farmer-something very meaningful happens. This goes beyond the simple transaction or nourishment provided through food. It's one human supporting another human financially for their hard work, dedication and courage. Those dollars provide for the basic needs of the farmer (they pay the bills). The human interaction that has always been there has been stripped down with the global food system we've created. While dozens of people may have touched the tomato you purchase at the grocery store you may never have to make eye contact with a single person to purchase it.
When we purchase our food from a farmer who has grown, raised or prepared it just for us we participate in human connection. We ourselves become fully human.
I see this in the birth process as well. Our bodies we're beautifully designed to go into labor when we are emotionally/spiritually/physically ready-when our babies are ready and in the right position. In most circumstances labor starts slowly so that we can gather our support system, create a safe environment and fully prepare for birth. As labor progresses our oxytocin (love hormone) increases so that we can not only manage the birth process more easily, but in many cases we begin to reach out to those around us to have our needs met. Birth is hard work, but God designed it perfectly so that women would need him, need those around her and so that most importantly she would fall madly in love with this new human being that will be born to her.
We were meant to birth our babies, reach down to scoop them up and hold them close. The love hormone gives us such a desire to protect, love and cuddle our babies that nothing else matters. We have in many ways used non human interventions and separation to remove many of the significant moments that were planned for us-not just related to birth. A woman was meant to experience hormones throughout her life including pain in labor and breastfeeding her children as a way to move onto the next stage of life-reborn into a stronger, more mature woman. They were not meant to be obstacles to set aside for the sake of progress, technology and comfort.
**Please note my thoughts on the importance of modern medicine below.
I'm concerned with food, birth and community because that is how I spend my days right now. Consider how you spend your days (and who you interact with) and how you may add more humanity to them. The most important thing is the feeling (compassion)-for one another and ourselves.
We are trying to teach this to our children as we often have to sacrifice play dates with other kids their age, trips to the park or library for hard work in the garden. We talk to them about enjoying the experience of hard work, learning from one another and the importance this plays in who they are now and who they will become. We're thankful and blessed for all of the kind, loving people in our life who are on this journey with us.