As I read an article about " slowing down," in the Everyday Meditator a few days ago, I was reminded of my own childhood in a small mountain village in Sicily. There was plenty of work to do, we raised our own livestock right inside our homes, grew our own vegetables, and since commodities were too expensive or nonexistent, we had to pitch in with a multitude of house chores. There were no toys to speak of, which meant we had to learn to be creative, and get along with others if we wanted them to play with us. Life was centered around the family..Grandparents lived with us until they passed on, and the lessons of love and devotion they taught us were invaluable. There was a deep sense of trust in the community; no one stole from anyone, keys were left on house doors, crime was unheard of. If we had extra food, mom would pack it up and give it to less fortunate neighbors. Selflessness and compassion were fibers in our daily lives.
And it occurred to me that for so many years, I have longed not for the village itself, but for the closeness I felt with the Divine...when life was much simpler.