We just came back from a short vacation in Vermont.
For those who don’t know, Vermont is a small, New England state in the Northeastern corner of the U.S. I don’t know how Vermont ranks among the fifty U.S. states on education, environment, health, employment, and other such important matters of life. But based on what I saw, I’m sure it is one of the best places to live in America.
Especially if you love nature. Mother Nature has created a paradise for the men, women and children of Vermont to live in. Thank you, Vermont, for keeping the hope of humanity alive.
We particularly want to thank two special friends — Nancy Romer of Brooklyn Food Coalition and Lew Friedman of the Killer Coke Campaign — for their warm hospitality. Staying with them made this vacation even more special.
For those of us who always lived in big cities such as New York, London, Delhi, Bombay or Calcutta, we perhaps do not understand how important it is to preserve our nature and environment, and how preserving our nature and environment is automatically linked to a long, healthy life. We, big city dwellers, have lost our connection with Mother Earth. We do not know how to breathe pure, uncontaminated air. We do not know how to walk in complete safety without the constant fear of being hit by a car. We have forgotten what solitude and quiet is.
Vermont reminded us of these forgotten, essential elements of human life that we have now taken for granted and therefore misused and abused.
During our four days of stay in that little paradise state that also takes pride in its most progressive, pro-equality laws, we visited two small farms, and met the farmers. We were surprised to see the level of knowledge they had on issues such as climate change and global warming, neoliberal economics and rampant use of GMO through multinational corporations such as Monsanto, harmful foods and drinks mass-manufactured and commercialized through McDonald’s, Coke or KFC, and what an ordinary global citizen like us can do to prevent these disasters through our own change of lifestyle and food habits.
The farmers showed us how they are putting sustainable and organic farming into practice. And that they are doing okay economically too.
I looked at these farmers. Hard work, disciplined life, and healthy, environmentally sound food have stopped the aging process on their bodies. Gail and her husband, both perhaps in their sixties, are harvesting their maple trees to make Vermont’s famous maple syrup: they have their own small plant to do the sugaring themselves!
Happy, smiling faces — totally with Mother Nature and her peace.
Vermont can bring the poet out of your reluctant, resistant self. Being with trees and their tranquility can bring the lost humanity back in you.
Brooklyn, New York