The beauty of slow cultivation. Georgian style flower garden, by ricoeurian via Flickr
There is a new movement gathering attention and support across the internet. A new movement, perhaps, but an old message – to re-use, re-purpose, live more frugally, and reduce waste. This message is particularly relevant during the Christmas season, when we often forgo quality for quantity, expanding our possessions and depleting our wallets. It is a relentless push for more, one that is all too easy to get caught up in.
Piled Possessions by Bart Everson via Flickr
During the time of the Roman Empire, the philosopher Seneca received a letter from his friend Serenus asking for help. Serenus wrote that he felt disturbed, somehow unsettled; ‘harried not by a tempest but by sea-sickness.’ He tells Seneca of his wavering certainty when he returns to his own plainer home after being a guest at the house of a rich and splendid man: ‘I come back not a worse but a sadder man; I don’t move my head so high among my trivial possessions; and a secret gnawing doubt undermines me whether that life is superior.’ Serenus has been living a plainer, simpler life, but doubts the wisdom of his choice to return to such an existence.
Simple by Bart Everson via Flickr
Surrounded now by gifts and wrapping paper, what can we say about our own lives? We are loved, that is certain, but we are also caught up in consumer-driven lives, often to the detriment of our planet. By making small, gentle changes we may gradually shift this attitude to one of sustainability, and perhaps avoid the sadness Serenus experienced by firmly and joyfully following a more simple life.