Saskatchewan… Saskatchewan… Oh look Ontario! The new license plate was a friendly reminder of why I was making this journey. “Only 10 more minutes I swear.” My friend whispers loud enough to trigger my attention. We slowly turn from the highway onto the untamed, tumbling trail of small pebbles. My mind wanders to the appearance of crushed up stones used to carve our path through the plains. The stones appear as crystal flecks dancing from the sun, guiding our journey on the dusty road. A white, aged fence approaches the passenger side of the vehicle as we slow to a home tucked into the peaceful prairie. A woman joins us at the car window with her once dark leather boots now wrinkled and painted with a tan film of dirt and mud. I hop out of the car greeted warmly by the fresh, open air and retrieve my carton, ready to recover what I came here for. The woman leads me over to the coop where I hear a frenzy of clucking and movement from the walls. The woman suddenly disappears from my sight and I take in the views around me. I watch as the grains sway and dance in whimsical strokes, the bees settling in the flower bush nearby, and the cool, yet welcomed breeze carrying the smells of the farm across my face. Crash! I look startled at the coop where a figure emerges with a hand filled with the prize I have been waiting for. The perfection of the oval she hands to me is mesmerizing. I am surprised that it is still warm to the touch, and I wonder how such a magnificent object could come from an animal which was so frantic. I place the warm eggs meticulously into the carton in fear that I may crack the fragile armour which encases the liquid gold I crave.
This crazy world I have come to know makes experiencing these precious moments increasingly impossible. Cartons upon cartons shipped in with frigid pearly white ovals, within minutes from my home, but it is not the same. It would never be the same.
I have found the lost art of knowing where my food comes from. I have realized that I find controlling the packaging in which I use to be increasingly difficult. Having this experience made me reflect on how much product is used on ensuring safe transport of our goods, but is wasted once the products are consumed. A pop can is so easily transportable and wrapped in elegant art, yet is tossed to the dirt once consumed. Crazy glue used to fix a broken mug wrapped in cardboard, a pill like container and then the case in which provides easy precision, wasting in our soil, and finally an egg carton overlooked and tossed into the bin to meet an uncertain future far from the nursery it once cradled. Wasted resources, never to be used again, but intended to be tossed aside and forgotten until the next trip to the store begins.