The floor to ceiling windows looked out onto a private park of trees and lush grass. I could see little birds darting in and out of nests and squirrels scampering up and down the trunks and branches. The view was inviting like you were immersed in nature.
I would have stepped out into it – but I was stopped by an impenetrable partition of glass.
Which also sort of made the scene like a big television set with the volume turned off, for none of the birdsong or crickets chirping came through.
How do you find such a nice spot of nature in the midst of Philadelphia? There wasn’t s single hint of the honking cars, busy people, or giant buildings of the bustling city I had flown into. Just a quiet hum of air conditioning. This little niche much cost a fortune.
I turned away from the window and faced the office I was in. It had that elegant simplicity adopted by most high-level executives or successful business people. Large and spacious with only a few personal items sparsely populating the desk and bookshelf; a photo of his wife, a treasured baseball in a beautiful glass case, several prestigious awards. The broad desk held only a thin stack of papers, a pen set, and a phone.
The entire room was clad in white carpet flooring. A speck of dirt could not survive in here for very long.
His handshake had been firm, but his hands were soft. He was in OK physical shape for a man his age. A private gym membership which he attended several times a week I guessed? I looked at his pale complexion – he didn’t get outside very much.
He was passionate, intelligent, and quite animated. I continued to listen to him telling the details of the success he had achieved.
It was impressive. He had been the marketing genius behind several radio advertising campaigns. And if I told you the names, you would immediately recognize the brands that he had taken from nowhere to household buzz.
A mutual friend had suggested we meet. I was in Pennsylvania to visit a botanical center and out of curiosity, I had arranged to stop by.
I’ve been in farms, or gardens, or backwoods so long this world seemed strange to me.
Mr. X continued “all of my clients have a budget that starts at with at least three hundred thousand and usually goes into the millions”.
I didn’t have anything even close to that, and by now, I am sure he knew it. But he was continuing on. He had seen my videos and he knew what I stood for.
This was not the dynamic of a rich man talking with his gardener. He was sincerely trying to find a way we could work together.
He was certainly a millionaire with connections and infuleunce. An extremely successful person.
And although I had little money, no fast cars, no staff, or beautiful offices, I knew I was his equal.
And he knew it too.
I reflected on our different paths.
All of his success was derived from the man made systems of corporations, banks, electronic media, and the vast complex of interdependent businesses and Governments known as ‘the system’. He derived his living from the spreadsheets, the money management, the ROI’s, and the interest, the legal agreements, the connections, and the glossy promises.
I work from an entirely different system. My source is the Earth. I work with soil, sunlight, and water to nourish and heal myself. I grow my own food and medicine and I show others how to do it too. And I spend some time each day living in the real and joyful dance of plants and animals. Just like Mr. X it is not always easy – there are sometimes failures and upsets. And while there are some losses, there are also big wins.
But my strength and power is just as real, and perhaps more valuable.
As you grow older you value health more than wealth.
To his credit, we did end up working together and he was very generous with his time and resources. But we could not quite get the numbers to work out for my message to be spread through the vast array of corporate radio towers that he worked with. And we have since gone our separate ways.
But the most important thing I got from the interaction was the acknowledgment of the power of the systems I work with – and how they were a very real and important alternative. My strength, composure, and self-esteem are just as real, if not more so. And although the rewards are different. the ones I pursue can be attained by anyone with a hose and a backyard or even a sunny windowsill.
It all starts with understanding some basic principles. They are easy to learn and implement. And they lead you to freedom and wealth of a different kind. If you want to begin the journey, click here http://growyourowngroceries.org/
Marjory Wildcraft is an Expedition Leader and Bioneer Blogger with The [Grow] Network, which is an online community that recognizes the wisdom of “homegrown food on every table.” Marjory has been featured as an expert on sustainable living by National Geographic, she is a speaker at Mother Earth News fairs, and is a returning guest on Coast to Coast AM. She is an author of several books, but is best known for her “Grow Your Own Groceries” video series, which is used by more than 300,000 homesteaders, survivalists, universities, and missionary organizations around the world.