This week, we are honoring our ancestors.

All day, all over Hong Kong, local families have been visiting cemeteries and paying respect to those who have gone before. Graveside picnics are common as generations express gratitude and maintain connections across the ages.

When I think of my history, I am always amazed by my great-grandmother and her sister who convinced their husbands to explore the unknown. Living 30 miles from the birth place of Jesse James, the women were uncomfortable with the effects of guns and alcohol in the community.

So, they signed up to be pioneers.

They loaded their wagons on to the new train from Joplin and headed to the great white north. On arrival in Saskatoon, the city was full so they spent their first winter living in a tent. As a temperance colony, it was a popular destination for young American families. It was 1909 and my grandfather was 10.

They eventually settled on the home quarter and broke the land and became part of the farming community of immigrants I grew up in.

I only heard this story a few years ago when I decided to spend quality time with my 89-year-old bachelor uncle who lives alone in his farmhouse in a rural community 15 miles from nowhere. His decision is a testament to the quality of relationships nurtured over decades of relying on each other for survival.

Looking back, I can’t help look ahead.

These people built their own shelter, raised livestock and grew enough food to last 6 months of long nights and sub-zero temperatures, often dipping to minus 40 with a prairie wind as familiar as the blue sky.

When I connect with them now, I often wonder what they make of our decision to turn food production into the hands of industrial agribusinesses whose primary purpose is to generate returns for shareholders. The treatment of livestock as a commodity is one of the most heartbreaking practices I know, having learned the importance of the humane treatment of farm animals. Vast landscapes of monoculture have replaced the crop rotation I grew up with and pulling nutrients non-stop out of the soil means the best profits come in the marriage of genetically modified plants to chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Today’s generation is suffering the consequences.

It is the response to growing cases of allergies and illnesses and a multitude of effects on our body that fuels growing interest in a return to small holding farms where diversity is the sustainable practice.

Locally, our farmers are getting more opportunities to introduce the benefits of fresh produce at trendy pop up markets.

Not a fan of trends, I am pleased to see the slow and steady shift from processed mono-foods to a variety of seasonal produce available closer to home — less packaging, less shipping, less storage, less energy-greedy supermarketing and more direct contact with those whose purpose is providing us with the fresh, whole food we have taken for granted.

Many teachings are available to us through the stories of those who came before us. Sometimes the lessons are subtle, sometimes we are encouraged to unlearn and always we gain a new perspective about the remarkable change happening in our lifetimes.

What stories will your future generations tell?



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natural life in the fast lane

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“Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Events in our community this month

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1 (11am-1pm) DIY Personal and Cleaning Products | Pause / SOL Wellness | details

1 (12-1:30pm) Ayurveda Workshop | Learning Ayurveda | details

1 (5-6:30pm) Vegan Social | Vgirls Club | details

2 (11am-5pm) Poho Popup Market | Honestly Green | details

2 (12-2pm) Vegan Lunch Meetup | Meat Free Hong Kong | details

6 (6-8pm) Cracking the Confidence Code | Lori Granito | details

7 (7:30-9pm) Meditation Circlen | Jenny Kakulu Kam | details

8 (10am-1pm) Yuen Method | Star Asia International | details

8 (2:30-4:30pm) Vegan Meal | Meat Free Hong Kong | details

8 (6-7:30pm) Gong Bath Meditation | Red Doors Studio | details

10 (7-10pm) Vegetarian Farm-to-Table Dinner + Film | Slow Food | details

10 (7:30-9pm) Guided Meditation Circle for Inner Peace | Greenwoods Raw Café | details

11 (7-8:30pm) Chakra Alignment Yoga Course | Red Doors Studio | details

14-16 Osho Neo Reiki | The Sanctuary | details

17 (10:15am-6pm) Permaculture Festival | Ark Eden | details

19 (7:30-9:30pm) Intro To Rooftop Gardening | Growing Smart | details

20 (7-11pm) Raw Vegan Cheese & Wine Tasting | Masalas & Olives | details

21-22 (8:30am-5pm) The International Conference on Climate Change | Green Council | details

22 (11am-3:30pm) YCIS Earth Day | YCIS Hong Kong | details

25 (6:30-8:30pm) Macrobiotic Vegan Italian Cooking | SpiceBox Organics | details

26 (7pm) Medical Lecture on Spiritual Healing | Bruno Gröning Circle of Friends | details

27 (6:30-8pm) Social Mobility for Youth: Escaping Poverty in Developing Asia | Asia Society HK | details

Join as a community member (free) for full access to calendar details.

Coming up

May 13-14 IRIS – Your Escape
June 23-24 Evolution – Asia Yoga Conference

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Founder of HK heartbeat - natural life in the fast lane