Friday, August 13, 2010

Sustainable Living in Mormon Country, Eastern Arizona

Interested in sustainable living? Think the majority of people thinking like that with you are left wing liberals? Could be. But if you really want to know how to live off the grid you might want to check out ultra-right-wing eastern Arizona! Snowflake / Taylor, that is.

I was in the relatively tiny Snowflake public library today. Small but not nearly as tiny as you might think for a town like this. There's so little to do in Snowflake that people were lined up at the end of the day on a Friday night to pick up their books and videos for the weekend. I was there to keep cool, but because I'm having trouble with the Airport card in my laptop I kept losing my connection. I decided to just wander and check out what this library has to offer.

It's Mormon territory so there is, of course, an extremely large part of the library devoted to Mormon history, Mormon fiction and Mormon-approved family videos. A lot of them! And that's pretty good since there isn't a Mormon-approved movie theater in this town. Which is my very diplomatic way of saying that because they couldn't censor what movies could be shown here there is no movie theater within an hour of here, where I live, about a half hour out of town. The city council refused to approve it. Even the video stores have to cater to this mentality. There's a large selection of "edited" movies in a special section just for their Mormon customers.

But what caught my attention today was the really wide assortment of books and videos and DVDs devoted to self-sufficient sustainable living. MOST of the rest of the library, in fact. Entire rows devoted to building or retrofitting a dwelling for solar living. An even larger section devoted to raising chickens, cows, pigs and...oddly.... cockatiels. People do raise all kinds of animals for all kinds of purposes here. There's somebody attempting to sell turtles from the back of his pick-up in town lately.

Then I found the natural healing section of the library. It was AMAZING! As many books or more than I've seen ANYWHERE on herbs and natural remedies, eating for health, even the mind-body connection. Nothing on flower essences, of course. Leave it to me to be attracted to one of the tiniest, most esoteric-seeming, niches available in the healing market. (Sigh)

But it reminded me of why I got into natural healing in the first place. If you want to promote sustainable ways of living, having the tools to maintain your health and get better without expensive and invasive medical interventions is essential! Not that I'm promoting avoiding medical attention when you need it. But not getting sick in the first place and having the tools to help yourself ought to be the first and foremost line of defense.

Out here they think of it as common sense.

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