Let me take you somewhere, for a moment.
Imagine you were in a valley.
Within the embrace of craggy cliffs, and mountains with crowns dusted in snow;
sprawled across rolling hills that looked as though a weathered blanket of vivid green had settled upon the rocky mounds of fertile soil,
was a village.
This dotting of houses and shelters,
though it's design was a painting of early human innovation,
visibly drew it's inspiration and materials from the nature it was nestled into.
The stone walls quietly aspired to be mountains.
The roofs imitated the way grass falls and weaves into itself when the warm seasons start to fade,
prepared to bare the weight of the coming winter.
There was a rustic beauty to this village,
and that was reflected perfectly in its inhabitants.
Now, let's say you were walking down the dirt path through this village.
What did you see?
You noticed the people, engaged in conversation or the work of their homesteads,
were dressed in simple garments of tones that mirrored that of the landscape
and embellished with the handiwork of talented maidens' embroidery.
The hair of the women was pulled into braids of many variations,
and the occasional head that passed by you was adorned with the delicate white, indigo and egg yolk coloured flowers that speckled the hills.
There was a hardness about the men, who were either laughing or frowning as you walked amongst the people.
Yet you felt their courage, their love, and their devotion to the tribe and their families.
They were built like warriors, but their muscled physique came from craftsmanship, farm work and exploration of the rugged land they called home.
There was a spirit that lived within them all. Despite their different traits and roles in the village, you saw strength in both the men and women.
The valley was alive with the sounds of this lifestyle and the other animals living amongst the people.
But there was something in particular that stood out to you the most.
You noticed a system of trade.
It was an exchange of services, skills, and passion.
A seamstress would sew up a tear in a garment,
in exchange for fresh baked bread to feed her family.
A blacksmith would fashion new hinges for a door,
and would receive help in the garden in return.
A potter would trade their creations with a carpenter.
A house would burn down, and the people gathered to rebuild a new one together.
A child would go missing, or an animal would stray from the flock,
and the people would spread out in search of it.
This community support is what held the village together,
sustained their way,
enhanced the lives of all.
And every once in a while,
the village would come together.
They would feast,
sleep under the stars,
and return to their homes in the morning.
With each new day brought more work.
You wondered if you could live this way.
You climbed to the top of a hill,
and sat on a rock,
aged by the elements and covered with moss;
a symbol of the pure valley air.
You looked down over the village.
You saw the great contentment that lived in the hearts of its people.
You saw the way they interacted with one another.
You saw the dedication, and the freedom.
You saw the balance of work and play.
You saw the connection to the Earth,
their source of life,
And you remembered that once,
a long time ago,
you did live this way.