My goodness. It’s been almost two months since my last post. I deliberately took some time off as Nancy and I settled into a new and challenging role as caretakers of 3 acres of family property, including a rustic cabin, here in Mt. Shasta. We still live in our motor home, but are able to stretch our legs a bit within the old cabin as we paint, clean, and help maintain the building. We are also caring for the meadow and trees on the property. It is work that is outside of our comfort zone of familiar routines, but it is enlivening and transforming our lives.
The challenges of the past few months have focused us a bit on day-to-day tasks – not a bad thing in itself. But we have both been reminded recently of the energy that has been driving all of our changes over the past few years. We did not embark on a radical shift of lifestyle simply to have an adventure. We were called in this direction by forces and energies; some material and obvious, some subtle and mysterious. Nancy’s development of shamanic practice and my own immersion in the energies of the earth through Qigong practice have reordered our experience of life. We moved to a “tiny house” because we felt it was the appropriate way of living. We continue to look for creative and authentic ways of living in our work, our environment, and our conversations.
Several years ago I was fascinated by a BBC series called, “Foyle’s War.” It is a dramatic series set in WWII England and, though it follows a story concerning crime in a coastal town, the thematic setting of each episode is an aspect of English life as it was transformed by the War. The threat to England was real and immediate, just 30 miles across a narrow strip of water. The reality of the situation transformed English life. Gas was strictly rationed, as were most commodities. Every piece of scrap was recycled and reused. Tens of thousands of acres of unused land were transformed into food crops by the work of the Women’s Land Army. Every household that had extra room was asked to billet defense workers and refugees from the bombings. Lavish estates were made into hospitals. Bicycles became the mode of transportation. “Dig for Victory” Gardens were planted in every backyard, schoolyard, vacant lot, and golf course – producing twice as much food as had previously been imported. Studies since the war have shown that, despite the horror and destruction, the nutritional and physical health of the English population during the war was better than before or since.
The current threat to human life on Earth is every bit as real and immediate as was the presence of Nazi jackboots across the channel to the English. Yet we continue to live in fear and denial. No civil leadership takes responsibility or steps up to rally us to action. The responsibility has fallen upon us as individuals. Nancy and I are attempting to live with the same sense of purpose and commitment as did the English people. We have heard a call to action, not from the government, but from the Earth Herself and from the Spirits of the mountains, streams and forests.
We’re taking each step that presents itself to us as best we can. If the government won’t ration gas and food, we’ll do it ourselves – limiting our trips and making whole foods the center of our diet. We haven’t planted a garden yet, but we will next spring. We find new ways each week to eliminate wasteful consumption.
It isn’t a walk in the park – more like a journey through the wilderness. But it is an imperative response to a wounded world, and I’m giving every bit of my life to the task. The paradox continues to be the unfolding of freedom, simplicity, and joy in my life beyond anything I’ve ever experienced before.