A few weeks ago, I headed down to the farm with my kids. My dad decided that he was fed up with having farm property stolen and set out to put up a fence to hopefully deter thieves. I decided that I better help out so I made my way there.
For a man in his mid 70’s, I am always amazed at my dad’s strength and agility. He can pick up those 60 lb. bags of concrete like nothing and mixes it away with his hoe in the wheelbarrow. He has his own plan on how he wants it all done, so I was the apprentice. He had already dug the holes for the posts the day before and even aligned it all up already. I helped with setting the poles and cleaning up.
It’s really sad to think that the place I grew up isn’t the same place as it used to be. The thought of people stealing wasn’t a huge deal as it is now. We could trust the folks that lived around here and everyone watched out for each other for the most part. It’s no longer like that.
As I walked around the field, I started to notice the things around me from a simple rock to an old coconut. The worn river rock was smooth from years of being exposed to the elements and lichen started to grow on it.
The old coconut had its fibrous husk starting to fall away, leaving the nut loose. Both the rock and coconut had changed in form over time.
As I thought about this more, it is only natural that things change. The way we live, eat, grow, and learn are all subject to change over time. In our day to day living with hustle and bustle on modern lifestyles, I feel we sometimes miss out on observing those little things around us. When life goes past us in a blur, some people long for the simpler days.
The culture of the moment is to reject every modern and new and go back to the old days that were perceived to be better. Despite having so many conveniences, many people are desiring to return to old ways. Some people do this by getting pierced or tattooed in traditional ways. There are even old native practices being started up on Mauna Kea. Some get into farming the old ways in an attempt to live like we did centuries ago. Other people reject vaccines and medicines to go back to natural cures as a means of treating afflictions. Whatever the case, modern life has many missing for the past.
There are things I do long for in the past but to want to turn back the hands of time is indeed unnatural. Everything changes and it’s inevitable. In the environment, things change as well and there’s no stopping it at times. To try and wrestle back to decades gone by is futile, however, we can take the good things from it and incorporate it into the present.
We can’t always save living things forever. It may return but in a new form but still bring us the same meaning as it did before. Whatever the issue may be, the past does live within all of us and provides lessons for how we act in the present and the future. Learning how to adapt to change and realize what true progress really means. I embrace the beauty of change but use the past as my guide for the future.