Note: This post was first published on the Romancing the Genres blog.
To an Alaskan, abundance is a full freezer. Many of us live a subsistence lifestyle, which means that all or most of our food comes from the natural world around us. That’s how to survive when the closest grocery store is many miles away, or just too expensive to rely on in rural villages. To give you an example, last year in Utqiagvik, a gallon of milk cost $13.50 versus less than $2 in most of the Lower 48 states.
We provide food for ourselves and our families by fishing, hunting, berry picking, and/or gathering plants. The fish, meat, or plants depend on whether it’s on the tundra, coast, or forest. Even more urban Alaskans can do a little fishing, hunting, or berry picking during the season to supplement our diets. If we don’t fish ourselves, we might support a local fishing coop which sells batches of frozen fish. Many of us add to our foods by gardening, too.
I didn’t garden or pick berries as much as usual this year, due to other commitments. But I still have frozen greens, raspberries, and several kinds of fish in the freezer. It makes me happy to see all those packages waiting for us to use through the cold winter. And every time I taste those berries or bite into a salmon filet, it will remind me of the long days of summer. I feel rich when I have food in the freezer. I am so thankful for the abundance.
I hope you find abundance in your life, in whatever form that means for you. When do you feel rich?