Razor Family Farms »

Symbols of Wealth and Happiness

vegetables

What is it about seasonal garden bounty that makes me feel that I am bursting with wealth?  One look at a wooden bowl overflowing with straight-from-the-garden produce and I feel as though I have a full wine cellar, Swiss bank accounts, ranches stocked with thousands of cattle, hillside vineyards with reclaimed castles, and all the rest.  Only better because I earned it through honest labor.  This is plain living at its finest.

DSC_0069

Isn’t it amazing how society has changed?  In many cultures, symbols of wealth or status revolve around battle scars, proof of proper food provisions, animals, and farmable land.  Status symbols are a study in sociological values.  For centuries, those were the earmarks of wealth and success the world over but somehow things have changed.

In America, we are obsessed with perceived wealth.  One scan through the channels on any American television set and one can quickly grasp what I’m talking about.  The current hit television shows?  Royal Pains (about a concierge doctor in the Hamptons and his social climbing brother), Real Housewives of Orange County/New York/New Jersey (about plastic trophy wives with credit cards and petty interpersonal problems), Millionaire Matchmaker (about golddigging floozies getting paired up with millionaires), and the list goes on and on.  Much of our music centers around drugs, pricey alcohol, bling (precious stones set in precious metals), luxury vehicles, designer clothing, and having lots of recreational sex.

As I sat weeding the garden the other day, I stumbled upon a lovely spider sitting in the middle of an intricately woven web.  I felt a rush.  In my world, finding secret beauty — hidden from the rest of the world’s view — is like walking into a dealership and driving away with a Rolls Royce.  In a country where happiness is seen as being a mere credit card swipe away… is it any wonder that antidepressants are a $10 billion industry?  We’ve lost touch with what is real, tangible, and worthwhile.  All of our fast cars and fancy clothes still leave us empty and seeking.

Of course, I am not immune.  One step in a mall or shopping center and I am very aware that my clothing is out of style.  Everywhere I turn, I see things I would like to have ranging from dishes/pottery to shoes.  But as I look at them, I’ve learned to combat the urge to buy them by picturing myself packing a suitcase for Africa or passing it onto my children.  Is it an heirloom item that my kids would treasure?  Is it an item I could wear in a third world country without feeling guilty?  The answer is almost always: no.

How do you keep it real?

  • Geldof Garden - Chocolate then this is a symbol for happiness and contentment. Geldof GardenReplyCancel

  • Lucy - Hi Lacy,
    The vegetables look beautiful and the picture of the spider is amazing. You do a really nice job taking macro photography.

    As for ways to keep it real in our lives… that takes some discipline (which we don’t always have) and thought. One way: when we treat ourselves to a restaurant we usually discuss how many groceries we could have purchased for the amount we spent and how many meals that would make. Which causes us to think twice before eating out. Unless there is no choice we never eat out at a “country style” restaurant, I can easily prepare those foods at home. We try to dress in classic styles rather than more fashionable styles. We live in a community where poverty is the rule and not the exception, so we don’t have to look far to see if we are over-dressing. My husband is a professional and has the opportunity to hear the appalling circumstances that many live in here. That’s a reality check like none other.

    You will find, I am a rambler at times. Sorry.
    Take care. Thanks for the post.

    Blessings,
    CindyReplyCancel

  • Rosa - You are right! What beautiful vegetables! Nature is so bountiful, people should learn to respect it…

    That spider picture is beautiful and so stunning!

    Cheers,

    RosaReplyCancel

  • Marlene - Hi there,
    Hey Lacy, did anyone ever tell you that you are soooooo gifted? He has certainly blessed you abundantly.

    I guess societies perspective is that everything is either a game or a challenge of some sorts. I don’t think that society even knows what it is doing anymore other than co-habitating and existing and thriving on the ever riding roller coaster of it’s life’s existance. Sort of sad. We really don’t stop to think of the consequences of our actions, probably because we are too competative. No need to think or feel, just do. How very sad.

    I think that just stopping to watch great miracles is the best way to face reality.

    Please keep up the great work you do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (only 7 more days— yahoo)
    Love alwaysReplyCancel

  • Michele - What I could do with all those veggies!! You are going to put some up right?ReplyCancel

  • Laura - There was a time I was self obsessed with keeping up with everyone else and I was never happy. Hello? How can anyone be happy with looming credit card debt? Now I’m debt free and still wearing maternity clothes because I refuse to buy a whole new wardobe (lol has nothing to do with the fact I’m still fat)

    Had a wonderful time with ya’ll today! The blackberries are getting closer to picking, I got about 3 cups this afternoon.ReplyCancel

  • Kath - Wow. What a web we weave for ourselves sometimes. We tend to zigzag through life too sometimes!!

    I like your perspective about if it would fit in a third world country on helping making a discision of “need” or not. Good one,Lacy!!ReplyCancel

  • Dee - I couldn’t agree more! You have such inspiring thoughts to go along with your gorgeous pictures. That spider is fabulous! I love the veggies too, but bugs & spiders aren’t always easy to take quality photos of. You’re very talented with the camera and with the pen.

    Wishing you a terrific week!
    🙂ReplyCancel

  • sylvia - I love spiders!! She is gorgeous.
    I have 2 teenage boys that go to a private school. Materialism is the #1 complaint I have about sending them there. Everyone has cars, nice cars. New clothes, goes to Europe for vacations, etc., etc. My husband and I counter this with requiring our boys to work for their spending money and including a huge dose of volunteering in their lives. We do the Food Bank, food drives for the homeless shelter, trash pickup on the highway, Habitat House building, you name it, we show up. All of us go so I consider this family time as well. It is really hard to gripe about Abercrombie/Finch clothes that you don’t have when you have spent the morning breaking open toilet paper bundles to hand out 1 toilet paper roll to a family of four at the local food assistance in our area.
    We are incredibly blessed financially and talk about how it is our responsiblity to share what we have by tithing (they tithe their work money), saving, and planning for help for others.
    Sometimes, I think if I had known how hard it is to raise children, I wouldn’t have done it. But then my 15 year old takes his entire stash of play money and donates it to his camp so that an underprivileged child can have the same experiences he is having. And then I realize, we change the world one child at a time.
    Keep watching the spiders.
    SylviaReplyCancel

  • Christine - Awesome post!ReplyCancel

  • Tia Julie - I agree with Sylvia’s post, she is a wise woman indeed.

    Working in the community with a variety of social agencies and my yearly mission trips keep me very grounded and Thankful to God for my many blessings.ReplyCancel

  • Lucy - Sylvia, What a nice letter. It’s inspiring, Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Sophie - Well writen ,my friend! I love your beautiful pictures!
    The spider in his web looks pretty!ReplyCancel

  • warren - I know about the temptation of stuff, but like you, it’s hard for me to want anything else when I am neck deep in the garden, surrounded by food!ReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

*

*

S u b s c r i b e
S p o n s o r s