As the world’s about to tilt, what priorities will bring life to who you are and all you do?

Throughout history and in many cultures, the winter solstice has been a significant time, marked by festivals and rituals. It’s often a time of reflection. As I’ve been thinking through why I’ve started Plate to Paddock, three core values seem to constantly be coming to the fore. Some call these foundational principles ‘pillars’ – I liken mine more to a 3-legged milking stool – functional, down-to-earth and nearly not half as grandiose. It would be great to see what you think and hear what brings meaning to what you do.

With limited knowledge of preservation, the winter solstice was a time to slaughter animals to eliminate the necessity of feeding them through the depth of winter. And being at the end of the productive growing season, the solstice festival was the last celebration prior to the following colder months – which were sometimes called the famine months – when starvation was common.

Sowing and harvesting of crops and husbandry of animals were closely linked to the movements of the sun and moon. So, the marking of astronomical events was hugely important.

The winter solstice is also a celebration of the return of the sun. And the sun brings life! It’s the time when there is victory of light over darkness… which is also hugely significant!

Preservation techniques and agricultural practices have removed the existential threat that we might not live through the succeeding months. Most of us are no longer exposed to an agrarian perspective. And there is little time to reflect on how precarious life really is.

For me, this time of midwinter, as I sit in the comfort of a modern lounge in front of a blazing fire, I have the privilege to contemplate issues higher up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. I think through the preciousness of life and what role I have in the greater scheme of things.

As I reflect on my passions and what drives me, the call to an agrarian renaissance screams out. It seems to promise something quieting and reassuring for the soul. I hunger for what is good and wholesome.

So when I try to articulate what it is that I think brings life to who I am and what I do the core values that keep coming up are:

  1. Wise stewardship of resources
  2. Valuing of all life
  3. Reflecting natural beauty

There’s heaps to unpack in each of these – which I’ll do at some stage. But for now, I wonder what your thoughts are on these?