Grandfather has an Hawaiian shirt, and I mean an HAWAIIAN shirt, as in loud, that the women got for him , one of those thrift store finds.
Funny thing is he really likes it, the colors.
I told him if he lived in Hawaii he could become a beachcomber, just add a straw hat, some flip flops, the obligatory sunglasses and he’d be good to go – he could be the big Kahuna.
He wasn’t exactly sure what a beachcomber was so I described it as best I could and he opined that it might not be a bad life but he wouldn’t give up the mountains and the forests.
The shirt has become something of a ritualized announcement that spring has come, a sure sign that planting the garden and another batch of peanuts is in the offing – and to see Grandfather’s first appearance dramatized by the many colored splendor of his shirt generates a ripple of excitement.
Spades, hoes, and rakes are looked over, seeds from last year examined, and soon the garden area spaded and mulched as it was in the fall after harvesting.
It is a communal effort, a time to work, laugh, and invest in the spirit and welfare of family. And once sown tended with devotion for the living thing it is and what it will provide.
I’ve heard some misguided individuals say “warriors” don’t farm, though I’m not sure if a vegetable garden that increases in size incrementally would be considered farming in the classic usage of the word though said individuals apparently believe it does.
I asked grandfather if warriors farm…he said warriors provide. I think that sums it up eloquently.
There is a long history among the nations relating to the cultivation of sustainable food sources, nations with well know warrior societies throughout this entire hemisphere who might have something to say about that.
A true warrior I believe would understand the first duty is to provide, and as grandfather once said it’s better to dig in the dirt with a stick that for a single child to go hungry.
Part of the attempt to assimilate and “civilize” the nations was to introduce them to the concept of farming as a way of life, a sort of transition from a hunter gatherer society into a more sedentary and docile one. The fact that it was a forced attempt following the confinement on what amounted to gulags referred to as reservations not only generated resentment and non compliance but probably has led to announcements such as warriors don’t farm.
Times have dramatically changed, but not the responsibility to provide, and in this age of environmental awareness and quest for self reliance, the inability to roam as we once did, farming, or at least individual, if not communal gardens, has become a timely and viable option.
In reality they become a Victory Garden.
What can be produced is light years ahead of what is available with commodities or food bank offerings in nutritional value that will result in a healthier, less dependent people and overall sense of communal well being.
If the talk is to be of what warriors do or don’t do then it should be said warriors don’t do drugs, they don’t become alcoholics, they don’t abandon the mothers of their children, the children themselves, or roam the streets in gangs…..they provide and protect.
The shirt isn’t worn often, grandfather says he doesn’t want to wear it out, but when it is there’s kind of special air to it….special, like grandfather.
Now if we could only get grandmother into one of those Hawiian Mu Mus.
But while allowing that grandfather does indeed present a striking figure when so attired grandmother offers the opinion that if she were to wear a MuMu the combination of shirt and dress colors would be so bright as to probably blind everyone, so better to refrain in the interests of others…. a wise and diplomatic woman.