It was 4:55 a.m., the time that our alarm radio does its early morning thing. My consciousness was struggling when an announcer began intoning something about "the most fuel-efficient machine in the world. This marvelous machine gets 914 miles per gallon," he said.
Suddenly, I was very awake. Visions of replacing our 12 miles-to-the-gallon van leaped into my sleep-shrouded head. I listened carefully. I was both disappointed and delighted in the same instant. This magnificent machine was nothing less than the human body.
I had to have more information, more documentation. I called long-distance to the radio station to see if they could give me sources on the story, but, alas, the very stuff that radio is made of (in an instant, here- in an instant, gone) had taken its toll. They had erased the tape and claimed no ability to retrieve the information.
Still the thought of such phenomenal efficiency plagued me. Here we are inhabiting one of the most efficient machines ever devised and yet we persist in surrounding ourselves with inefficient, energy-wasting machines, expensive convenience appliances that literally encourage the degeneration of the most magnificent machine ever placed on earth- the human body. It's not fair to condemn all appliances. If used correctly they can give us the time needed to accomplish and create. But, like many blessings, mankind has a tendency to overindulge, to take for granted. Often we forget where to draw the line. If it's convenient, we overindulge. If it's pleasurable, we sate ourselves. When we cross over this line of reason and restraint, both the body and the mind suffer.
It may be a simple thing, but to me when I spend ten to thirteen minutes grinding- by hand- our fresh whole wheat flour in the Country Living Grain Mill, both my body and my mind benefit. I'm keeping in tune this 914 miles-per-gallon machine. I could never use an electric grain mill so beneficially. Mentally, what value? The sense of pride I feel as I walk into the kitchen with two pans of beautiful, fresh whole wheat flour and hand them to Ann, is inestimable. A simple thing, perhaps. But often the simple things have the greatest value.