Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Black Death

Here in Arkansas we have chickens, everyone has chickens unless they live in town where livestock is prohibited. The farmers plant fruit trees in twos, one for us and one for the birds. At one time in the Middle Ages people lived a communal life, a family might have two rows of a field. The mistress of the house kept stores for the winter. There was a pasture that everyone's livestock grazed. In those times there were too many people, and not enough resources. The gleanings from the field were not left for the poor anymore, society was breaking down. When I went to college the registered nurse who was teaching us about this time in history told us, thank goodness for the Black Death.
The world was overpopulated and there was not enough land to sustain life. The plague, by wiping out half of the earth's inhabitants saved us from all that. There was land, and people started growing orchards and new plants and a record number of births happened after the Black Death. My teacher is an extremely practical person and she saw the plague as the solution to many problems. Here we are now in much the same predicament. We are too fruitful and we multiply. I myself who had no plans to have children at all, had them. It seems to me that a little planning would help. Life itself is precious, we say that but we do not mean it. Sitting here a hundred years away we can say this awful thing, to be there seeing the loss of life we would think differently. We are here to sustain each other and the earth, to feed the children and help them.

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