Journal

tradition

The theme of tradition has been floating around The Guest House team over the last few weeks.  Seth has been spending time in an apprenticeship with a raw dairy farmer, Joe has been building our History of U.S. Agriculture timeline for an upcoming workshop, and in meetings with potential investors we find the conversation of restoring almost lost agrarian technologies incredibly present.  We’ve been unexpectedly comforted by the reality of how many people are as concerned as we are with the reality that pre-industrial technique, land stewardship, and food-craft is incredibly close to being generationally lost.  Tradition – or the loss of it – it seems, is present on so many of our minds and hearts. 

Edi Keber – a wine-maker in Friuli, Italy – defines tradition this way in his interview in Friuli Venezia Giulia: The Taste Soloists: “that transmission of knowledge that unites generations – knowledge that advances, looking towards the future but firmly rooted in the past”.  We love his explanation of the concept. 

There has been a dusty connotation that has settled around the concept of tradition over the generations that have lived through the industrialization of agriculture.  As our bodies and families have departed from the land, our view of tradition is that it holds us back, limits us, or restricts growth and transformation.  It is an interesting reflection for us that all of our recent conversations about tradition have not centered on how we are held back, but rather, what we have or are losing.  The departure from our roots doesn’t allow for a very sustainable or long-term above ground growth and we are all feeling that in various ways culturally. 

We are actually finding in our own growth at The Guest House that tradition calls us back, brings limits that inspire creativity, and provides a solid root system for our growth and transformation.  The personal and generational healing possible in that context is one that we wonder if there is ever an end too.  The power of that potential is one that we feel in awe to serve and explore. 

seth o'donovan