Weare seed users, seed eaters, seed growers...all of us. We have beenwrapped in a world of seeds for eons, since long before agriculture. Inhunger we ate the bird that ate the seeds; in happy accident we brewedthe beer from spoiled and worthless seeds; in unwitting service to theplant we transported its seeds on our trouser cuffs. We slobber overear corn and eat our Wheaties. It's in our language: We are of ourparents' seed, our ancestors' seed, Adam's seed ultimately. We areborn into, thrive in, die in, a seed sowing, seed garnering heritage. To deny the status of the sacred to these time capsules, these enfoldmentsof life we call seeds is to court foolish disaster. We have alwaysknown this.
But...now they're messing with our seeds. The power grabbing corporations,the fascistic governments, propose in their arrogance and disrespectto irradiate...manipulate...defructify...monopolize and further commodifyour ancient birthright, our real wealth: SEEDS. We are strongwhen we have our seeds, and they know this. They would enslaveus and they would use as leverage the seeds we cherish, the seeds thatnourish us. What we would pass on to the seventh generation as bridegiftthey seize as strategy. They would put a price on the pricelessand sell it back to us.
Leave our seeds alone. Leave our seeds in the hands of the peoplewho feed us...the family, the clan, the village group. The professionof "seedsman" was created only 130 years or so ago. Perhaps it wasan aberration to try to centralize, and then commidify, a processthat had before been disbursed in village gardens, homestead gardens, middensand small fields. Grandmothers and Great-uncles collected, watchedover, cherished the seeds that came down to them. Grew them out withlove and patience and infinite care. Grandmother's seeds... grandmother'sblessing...passed from generation to generation. Reckon three generationsto a century and 150 centuries in the history of agriculture and you haveseveral hundred generations of seed gathering folk, seed saving grandcestors,passing on precious seeds to descendants. There is memory encapsulatedin this line of life stretching so far back. Feelings are there too...feelingsof gratitude to Gaia, of holding dear, of well wishing to the future generations,feelings of faithfulness...feminine feelings.
The memory is right there in the seed, in our cells, in the mitochondrialDNA passed down the feminine line. When I touch my seeds I tap thememory that is there, instinctive wisdom almost lost, beaming itself intoour consciousness just when it is most needed.
John Trudell said:" It's about our D and A. Descendants and ancestors. We are the descendantsand we are the ancestors.
D and A, our DNA,our blood, our flesh and our bone, is made up of the metals and the mineralsand the liquids of the earth. We are the earth. We truly, literally andfiguratively are the earth. Any relationship we will ever have in thisworld to real power-the real power, not energy systems and other artificialmeans of authority-but any relationship we will ever have to real poweris our relationship to the earth." (1)
Seeds are concentrated wealth. Seeds are worth far more than we payfor them now, in this aberrant commodity trade. You can packin a suitcase $10,000 worth of garden seeds in any variety you choose. The slavemasters and their propagandists would have us believe that moneyis power and, since they have plenty of it, that they are in control. They don't want us to have that suitcase, to be free to leave and plantelsewhere; free to stay and plant many gardens, feed many people with realfood.
If we are staunchly of the Earth, her power is ours to neutralize and transmutethe evil work of the authority-mongers, those without conscience. We can do this with life enhancing actions. Repeat. Life-affirmingactions override, overwhelm, the lifeless. Always the great stonetemples of the arrogant become topsoil for living systems. It's somethingthe corporations and governments fail to appreciate. Their authorityrests on entropic processes, explosions, coercions, cultural lies. They cannot take into account the power of life, the connectedness of life. They would have us forget where we come from...so we can be entertainedand exploited and addicted to their cheap dream, their gadgets and theirersatz food. If we are staunchly of the Earth we have access to thestrength of the generations, the ancestory, to help us put lifeand affirmation in the places where death-dealing had been. We canREMEMBER from where our power comes. Let us plant gardens. Let us plant trees. Let us tend cows.
Let us join Wendell Berry's "Mad Farmers Liberation Front." No dues. No meetings. You just have to be clever. Don't be depressed,be clever.
Ourweapons are our tools...
Ourammunition is our seeds...
Ourfuel is our sacred intent to do right by the future of life on the Planet...
Ourmarching song is the thrumming of memory in our cells.
We march in concert, but we do not march en masse. Our aimis not to dominate or overpower. There has been enough dominationand power grubbing. Rather, our aim is service. Eachof us has a plot of earth to serve, our own elementals and devas to consult...intuitionthat speaks in us. We know how to surrender to the task, tothe plants and soil, in order to earn our harvest. We bend to itin joy and service, each individual one of us mustering pure intent, agutsy laugh, with the power of life upholding us.
Let us be clear. There is no money in this, only sustenance. This passing forward of seed on the family or clan level is a matter ofright livelihood, not of commerce.
And right livelihood brings joy. If I can feed myself, my family,a few others perhaps when surplus appears, then I have done something REAL. Something subversive. I am in touch with my power, and my delight.
JOY...What if the picture that's been drawn of medieval peasant life asbasically "Nasty...Brutish...Short" is a cultural con job put out by therationalists and the materialists, the ones who shortly would have somethingto sell us? What if life on a subsistence level has joys and satisfactionsas well as challenges? What if people had time to laugh and sing? What if there were still people in the world who could catch the memoryof this and show it to us??
A friend tells me about life in the Philippines,far back on the rural islands...tells how, when two rice threshers or donkeydrivers meet and begin to talk, they're laughing most of the way throughthe conversation. There is something boisterously entertainingabout what is going on in their poverty-stricken lives.
John G. Bennett wrote of an encounter in Africa: "Following a lightly troddenpath, I came upon a Basuto village. All the inhabitants were outhoeing mealies. Their ages must have ranged from seven to seventy,and they were singing and hoeing to the rhythm of their own music. As they saw me they all stopped and stood straight up in surprise. Then with one accord they began to laugh. I have never heard suchlaughter. It was pure joy and friendship, without malice and withoutthought. I joined in, and we all laughed together for several minutes. I waved my hand and walked on, and they resumed their gravity and theirhoeing.
"This was one of the unforgettable moments of my life. A lifetime'sexperience had convinced me that happiness is greatest where material prosperityis least. I had seldom seen a happy rich man, but I had seen manyhappy people among the poorest villagers of Asia Minor or Greece. I had seen happiness in Omdurman, but this happiness that I saw beforemy eyes was beyond all the others. Here was a village totally lackingeven the smallest of the benefits of civilization. They had not evena plough or a cart. And yet they were the happiest people I had everseen. They were without fear and without pride." (2)
The meek shall inherit the Earth, for the meek remember who they are andwhere their power comes from. The meek overcome oppression not byfighting it, but by serving the Earth.
(1) John Trudell, on the occasion of amemorial service for Earth First! Activist Judy Bari.
(2) J G Bennett, _Witness_ Claymont Communications,1983, pg. 229.