There is nothing wrong with this, but do we not at some level miss out on beautiful, real, hands and minds-on experience? If everything happens at the touch of a button, then isn’t our creative involvement limited, even thwarted?
The answer, thankfully, is no.
Of course this depends on personal interests and lifestyle. A busy executive who absolutely loves spending long hours totally immersed in her work may favor as much automation as possible in other areas of life. This is a person who will select a healthy apple sauce or tomato sauce from the shelves of a grocery store instead of making her own. She still values wholesome nutrition while finding ways to allow time and room for her creativity to unfold where it is meant to do so.
And this is it. It is not a matter of being willing to make things from scratch; it is a matter of allowing proper expression to our creativity. For homesteaders, gardeners and farmers, creativity strives on the land and in the kitchen. Architects blossom at the drafting table. This is how we complement each other. This is how we design the world we share.
Gardening, cooking, canning, preserving, making cider and making tomato sauce from scratch takes time. The question that comes to mind for those whose energies are focused in other areas might be, “Why would I go through so much trouble?” The fact is, it is no trouble at all. When gardening, cooking, canning, preserving, making cider or making tomato sauce, we are like an artist.
The artist takes the time to pack up easel, paints and a good lunch, drive around in search of an inspiring vista, set up all equipment, mix the paints, capture the scene brush stroke after brush stroke, hour after hour, clean up, put away all tools and equipment, drive home, unpack everything and start over the next day. In truth, the words “take the time” actually mean “embrace the moment.”
So it is the moment we decide, “I will can some apples tomorrow.” It is a choice, not a chore.
Then, instantly, we look forward not only to the final product, but to the pure well-being that lies in every moment of the process. When canning, one must clean and set up and gather and cut and pay attention to timing. When making sauce, one must assemble the sauce maker, wash the tomatoes, store the sauce evenly in clean jars, dismantle the equipment and clean it carefully. Even the cleaning is not a chore. Instead, it is that part of the process where we realize that a good deed is done and that the last few hours provided nourishment to more than just the body. We are setting up or setting aside an entire process, in each instant realizing how fully alive and fully involved in living this process makes us feel.
Would it be more practical to buy a jar of sauce or preserve at the store? Yes. If your creativity lies in other areas of life. There is the word “practice” in the word “practical.” When we are exercising our creativity, in any area of life, the act of doing is what’s practical.
What practice would you do basic with your hands?