Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Sharing the Culture

Today I am sharing the loveliness with you. It is easy to be content at home in such surroundings.

 As I was recently culling and perusing through some of our vast collections of publications and books, I found some that were  full of beautiful photographs of places faraway places,  interspersed the interiors of homes, the flora, food, arts, poetry and literature of those beautiful climes.  

I looked up from the glossy pages and my eyes met this beautiful scene and thought to myself how we ladies at home could each make a book of our own with equally beautiful photos, accompanied by the food of our own area, and add some of our own stories, poems, art and culture.

Did you ever investigate what culture really is? When you do, you will discover how to create your own culture at home, and how each family member helps to establish the habits and customs of the home.

We are sometimes told that here on the north American continent, we have no "culture" but that is not true.  The people who say that are referring to the lack of landmarks and buildings older than 350 years. 

 It is true there are no ancient historical structures, but when you hear such a statement, consider this: The land of the US is still as old as the rest of the world.  It just has no physical evidence of man-made structures or man-made art, poetry, literature and music dating back a thousand or more years. That does not mean there is no culture. There certainly is culture here, but it is a different kind of culture.

Although we do not walk in the shadows of thousand year old castles or paintings and music, we still have culture here in America. It is just younger.  We still have our music, our inventions, and our roads from several hundreds of years. 

 Our land has the same old Creation as  in Europe. It was created on the same day as theirs. Our mountains and rocks are aged and have many fossils from the great flood.  Our rivers and lakes are just as old as those in other countries.

The oldest towns with brick streets are certainly not more than 400 years old but what is very ancient and historic is the Scripture we read that has been preserved by God longer than some civilizations in the world. Everyone has access to a Bible and many homes have multiple copies of it. A great deal of our culture is derived from the Bible.

And, in a land where there are no man-made castles, we have opportunity to be be creative.  Is there no art of previous centuries? That's an opportunity to create some of your own.

Mr. S. sometimes uses an illustration about a business in the 1920's which sent salesmen to undeveloped parts of the country in the mid-west to see if their products might be sold to the people there.

One salesman came back and said, "No one uses these products in that part of the country, so there is no use setting up your business there."

Another salesman came back and reported, "No one has access to your products. No one uses them. It is a perfect place to set up a shop, and there is no competition."

One person saw nothing, and the other saw an opportunity for something.**

Living at home is a great opportunity to make your own history, and your own culture.

There are hundreds of farms across Canada and the US and many are generational. That means their forefathers plowed and planted that same land many times and produced crops that often fed other parts of the world too. No, they did not build castles and moats and paint great masterpieces but there was a different kind of history and a different sort of culture that was passed on for others to enjoy.

The tall stacks of hay each harvest are our castles, and the sunrises are our art, which our children attempt to paint on paper with their little watercolor sets. Those are our masterpieces. Our voices singing hymns in church is our music.  So, please don't say there is no culture here.

You might look off into the distance as see something beautiful and realize that people in other countries save up their money for a long time just to come and see the things you look at every day.

I was looking on Pinterest for farm clothing or farm fashion (another idea for my sewing!) and came across this wonderful painting of a girl in the field. I like the way the colors coordinate and compliment the surrounding field, and it goes along with what I try to do with my fabric and sewing.

I would certainly like to create a pattern for that ruffled blouse 😊

There are thousands of wonderful and talented artists in America, so we do have art here. This one is by James Griffin.

**I realize its a reality in many businesses, that some businesses are not going to be able to thrive in certain conditions, certain locations, certain cultures and times.  It takes a very persistent and determined person to establish a set of values, establish a business, and keep up their talents when they are surrounded by unfavorable conditions.  However the illustration was just to make a point about how we as homemakers might look at a problem that needs to be solved.


lynn maust said...

It is difficult to be content at home if your surroundings aren't lovely....as mine now are not, since I had to move.

Laura Smith said...

Thank you for giving me something positive and pleasant to think about this morning. This weekend my dad showed me a great picture of my great grandmother enjoying watermelon with friends in their 1900's white dresses.

Julie said...

Thank you for the reminder to stop and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us!

Lydia said...

Laura that is really something, isn't it!! That's part of your culture and was part of theirs in the time the photo was taken.

Gigi said...

I once read about a lady who did not live in a pleasant situation - her house was situated beside a noisy, ugly factory, but she decided she would love her little home and find joy in her surroundings, as she could not relocate her home and could not afford to sell it. So she planted beautiful tall flowers outside her kitchen window - and every morning, as she started her day, she would see the lovely brightly coloured flowers blooming happily away - and it blocked her view of the ugly surroundings. For those who are not in what they would consider a pleasant home or location, perhaps there is something you can do to find joy. We have a situation where things are not as pleasant as they could be - and I so purposefully planted sunflowers in that direction - so when I was tempted to be unhappy with the situation, I would see the lovely, cheerful sunflowers.
And Lydia, I just LOVE your example of our culture. I am in Canada and we are even younger here - but I agree ... those straw bales, those beautiful dreamy sunsets ... it is gorgeous and I am grateful to live here and enjoy our Canadian culture.

Lydia said...

Miss Gigi, this is a very hard thing for a lady to do, and takes a lot of courage and determination, often through tears! But I beg to differ with you about the Canadian culture, for I once read a historical account that Canada as a settlement dated back to the 1500's and was older than the US, which began in the 1600's at Jamestown, although there always have been people living in these areas. However its the West that was a challenge in both nations, as it had to be settled and people had to forego the cultural niceties while they built their homes and established their towns.

Gigi said...

That is a great point - thank you! I suppose I was just thinking about our actual birthdate. :)

Trish Clark said...

After reading your message today I was so happy and proud of our beautiful USA.
Thank you for your insightfulness.

Rhonda said...

I live in a part of the states where it is not uncommon at all to find someone whose great grandfather pioneered and homesteaded the land. I had to stop and think about that, and it left me in awe. Because I too am amazed at the history of European countries and the architecture, but to come to a raw land, tackle it, and turn it into a home for generations to come....that is really awe-inspiring.

Lydia said...

Rhonda I agree. Those people had to create their own history, and we were taught as children that what you do in life creates your history. It is more important to have a history of faithfulness to the Lord and pass that legacy to your generations. Also to pursue talents and skills and use these to help your family earn a living, have families, and make their way in life.

Laura Jeanne said...

This is a lovely post Lydia, thank you. I really love that painting of the girl in the field, it's beautiful.

Regarding which country is older, Canada or the US - it is this way. The French settlers colonized Canada slightly earlier than the time the English came to what is now America on the Mayflower. The French settlement continued throughout the years, but it remained small and contained to what is now Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. BUT the English settled Canada much later than when they settled America.

There were virtually no English speaking people here until after the American Revolution. At that time, those Americans who were still loyal to Britain came over the border into Canada, which had belonged to Britain since the Seven Year's War in the 1750s. Ontario, my province, was almost pure virgin forest at this time, with only some small French settlements and fur trading posts. The Loyalists carved farms out of the wilderness with great grit and determination. Malaria was a huge problem as there were a lot of swamps then. As towns and farms began to appear and the land was gradually tamed, more immigrants from Britain started to come. By the mid 1800s they started to spread west across the Prairies.

So the French culture of Canada is slightly older than American culture, but the English part of Canadian culture is younger here than in the US. :)

I hope you didn't mind the history lesson too much!

Lydia said...

Laura I read that the the French in Louisiana also migrated to Canada, abs vise-versa, and that the name Cajun might have something to do with Canada

Laura Jeanne said...

Yes, "Cajun" is a shortened form of "Acadian," which were the French settlers who were forced to leave Nova Scotia (which they called Acadia) by the British after the 1750s. They migrated to Louisiana, which was still a French colony at the time. If anyone ever migrated from Louisiana to Acadia, it would have likely been earlier, in the early 1700s before Canada was won by the British.

Lydia said...

Arcadia meant unspoiled idyllic place of refuge. The name was shortened to Acadia.

Lydia said...

They sure did travel around in that period of history. Going from Canada to Louisiana was quit a trip!

Gill said...

I am reminded of Ma Ingalls China clock which she carefully carried with her from cabin to house to house as the family moved west in the stories by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

But I also think that the native peoples of North And South America had their own cultures that went back for many hundreds of years before the Europeans arrived, and their castles and hand made items are beautiful and valuable historically too.

Feminine Belle said...

The girl in the field dressed in white looks like a grounded cloud.

My grandmother's mother did that trip from Canada and my grandmother still spoke French and she lived in a tight knitted neighborhood of folks which all took care of one another. One person brought milk from their cow to her. It was my first real experience with *raw milk* as we call it today.

Lydia said...

Gill In the 1950's my father told me after much research he thought there were people on the North and South American continents before the native Indians, as evidenced by writings, language and architecture that was left behind. They moved to higher grounds when the next wave of immigrants arrived, whose ancestors we now know as first nation. In fact, people thought in previous generations that there was always a group of people before the one that now occupies the lands, from since the beginning of time, and that no one single nationality was ever the only ones to settle any land. There was always someone there before them. There are people that study that idea still today.

Feminine Belle said...

Hmmm... strangely enough recently found out about the native Indians which spoke about giants living in the area before they came to live there. Most giants lived in every state and the skeletons and burials located. Makes me wonder about a place called Flower Mound, TX which has MANY huge mounds. (curious thoughts that's all)

mgh said...

My husband being a pilot on the corporate side traveled to most of these places and then some. 🙂

Let beauty of the surround area inspire you, and a smell of your favorite drink lift your mood.