Bernadette Jiwa's & The story of telling: On Sufficiency

Sunday 05 July 2020

My favourite childhood stories were those written by Laura Ingalls Wilder about her pioneer family and life in the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Her family lived on their wits. They were grateful for what they had and prepared for uncertain seasons. In tough times they made do and relied on their skills, but also turned to their community for help.

The world of the Ingalls Wilder books was in sharp contrast to the era of the TV industrial complex I was growing up in. Non-stop advertising taught us not only that what we had wasn’t sufficient. But that somehow we were not sufficient, unless wore the right jeans, looked a certain way and our hair smelled of green apple shampoo.

We lived in a world where homemade was seen as the choice for people with little freedom to choose. A time when it became easier to replace than repair and making do was a sign of not having enough.

Now, in this time, when our movements and choices are restricted, those of us lucky enough to still be healthy and working are relearning what it means to be grateful for what we have. We’re finding joy in reclaiming skills that nourish us. We are rekindling our resilience. And we are remembering that we are more than enough.