"Deo, Demeter, the grain-mother, and her daughter/self Kore the Maiden called Persephone, raped by the Godfather's brother and buried to rise again, are myth-images of this relationship, recognized by 'primitive' farmers as fundamental. It is still fundamental, but can be completely ignored by a modem city dweller whose actual experience of plants is limited to florists' daisies and supermarket beans. The ignorance of the urban poor is blameless; the arrogant ignorance of the urban educated,...is inexcusable. There is no excuse for deforestation, for acid rain, or for the hunger of two-thirds of the children of the earth."
This excerpt from Le Guin's forward to "Vaster Than Empires..." made me think about my recent move from Seattle to Walla Walla. Seattle feels more connected to nature and ecology than many cities I have been to (it is surrounded by lakes, is on Puget Sound, is framed by mountains) however I have a new awareness about food in Walla Walla that I did not have before. The Palouse stretches forever in one direction, vineyards and farms are everywhere in the other direction. Down the road is the Montiellet Fromagerie goat cheese farm, my 90-year-old neighbor leaves us home-grown tomatoes on the front porch, and three days a week for over half the year there is a farmers market within walking distance with fresh vegitables, fruits, cheeses, baked goods, grains, and meals.
It isn't "the wild," but it is very different, and I find myself hyper aware of how I get the food I eat and where it comes from. The farmer's "primitive" perspective is hard to ignore here.