Brian's Blog

…one man's contribution to the Weeeeerly Wild World



book_childrens_encyclopediaMy regular readers know I’ve been reading my way through my ten volume set of Arthur Mee’s Children’s Encyclopedia which dates back to the 1930s. I’ve set myself the task of reading one volume a year, or around 62 pages a month. Beyond calculating how many pages I need to read it’s a casual arrangement I’ve set up for myself; I sit down for breakfast with my cup of tea and bowl of porridge and open up the current weighty volume (four) and read through whatever random topic is next, and they are pretty random because this encyclopedia isn’t arranged how you might expect; A-Z, but divided into categories or groups and aimed at different age groups (of children). Today’s group was ‘Ourselves’ and the topic was Milk; “Nature’s Wonderful Food” – quite fitting for breakfast I suppose.

But it wasn’t the talk of milk that made me spout a profanity over my laden spoon, which tends to happen when something rocks my world (I’ve considered keeping a mental swear jar to try and curb my use of such naughty words), but this single paragraph that the author threw into the mix:

…milk is the outward and visible expression of a greater thing still, which is motherhood ; and the lesson we have to learn, which all our politicians and those who rule nations have yet to learn, is that by the laws of Nature the importance and needs of motherhood increase as life ascends, and that upon it depends the destiny of all living things.

I mean, holy c…ow.

While the Encyclopedia was edited by Arthur Mee, there is a list of some fifteen literary contributors, and who wrote this particular piece is unknown/unclear, but it’s curious to me.

I think the term Mother Earth would perhaps be better fitting, but the topic was supposed to be about milk and cows and babies. To me this was a clear message about the meddling with nature and turning things artificial, and how doing so (often through the use of science) will be to the detriment of us all; we will fail to ascend and our destiny will be thwarted. This might sound all very spiritual and deep but I began my Monday morning with ten minutes of guided meditation that moved me somewhat also.


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