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This happened: I decided to heal myself

(I´ve been really sick for a while and my theory is this: in my previous life everything, including me, was so tense, my body was in a state of alert all of the time. When I got to the forest my shoulders (eventually) lowered and I got to be less afraid. A lot of the emotional poison I carry around was released. I have to DEAL with it).

I decided to get to the roots of my problems, my weak spine, my funny bones, I decided I needed to materialise my inner change in the outer world, in other words: walking the talk also means talking the walk, there were things I need to look at, examine, yes, DEAL with…. which is why I will, until the day I die, insist that this simple wilderness life is a deep moral obligation and therefore the contrary of escaping or turning away or falling into resignation)
Anyways, I´ve begun to listen to my body. Really listen. A lot.

My body actually speaks to me. It tells me when a situation is not good for me. It asks me favours. It communicate and tell me what I need. I just have to listen.
I´m practising listening to my body and this time a year my body craves sugar and fat. It insists on it.
Every single year around autumn it´s like this. I go into a state of manic cake baking. As if the violent storms could somehow be calmed down by my apron and my rolling-pin. As if my body could somehow transform itself into a cave bear. Ready. Ready. For winter exhaustion.

These are chocolate covered honeyhearts

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Pepper cookies in the jar

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When I was touring (presenting my book, you should totally buy it) a lot of people wanted to know about the practicalities of our life. I didn´t really know what to say. We fetch water in the well. We chop firewood. We build. We bake. It´s very simple really, there´s not a lot to say about it.
I never liked the “How to” posts or the recipes; I get over ambitious about it and so it never happens, I never finish the blogposts, I´m much better at all the emotional stuff.
Sad smiley.

BUT today I realised something about supplies. This is so natural to me now but I realised that it actually took me a while to learn this: when you live simple you most often also live poor which is fine (because it is a conscious choice not a tragic fact) You might not have the money to stock up on everything. And you might not want to support the industry of “prepping”.
You might simply need some advice from someone who´s done it. So here it is.
Prioritize:

SPICES (you can grow a lot of them yourself but curry, cinnamon ect will give flavouring to even the most boring dishes. By the way, ever heard of the dish called “Burning love”? It´s potato mash with slow cooked onions in butter spiced up with nutmeg and served with beat root. See? VERY cheap, you can grow everything in your garden…  but the nutmeg is essential)

Oils (rapeseed, olive oil, linseed, sunflower seed ect. Butter is expensive and you have to go all of the way into town to get it (unless you have a cow. Which we should have) and you know you can bake muffins with oil, right?

Spices and thea

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And then there is this. Quality sugar and salt.
We spend a lot of money on this because it is so essential. With good sugar and salt you can make everything taste good. Also we have several boxes of honey under the bed, graciously given to us by friends (thank you!)
This honey makes me deeply and fundamentally safe and secure.

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That was that. That´s what I wanted to share: If you want to go live in the forest take with you lots of spices, oils, sugar, salt and honey. You can eat potatoes in a thousand variations if you only have these ingredients.
When I´m not baking (which I do most of the time) I do this:

I walk with the kid.

We find “forest diamonds” everywhere. He always stops to admire them

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This is his playground

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We study the green

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and the grey

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And when we get back inside I sit down to fix all of my tangled threads, my mess, in the head.
(yeah I´ve taken up embroidery lately. That´s just how it is. I also look more and more like my mother)

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… while he builds me an insulated mud room and a compost toilet (oh my, a toilet inside! Come rain, come snow, we used to walk all the way down to the compost toilet which was a beautiful nature experience and all that… but a toilet inside! What luxury!)

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Because of the money from the book tour we can buy some building materials. I´ve grown to really appreciate how the old and the new building materials are living together, like opposites meeting ect. It feels romantic.

And then this weird pumpkin stares through the window all of the time. Reminding me that this is also the season of death and ancestors and nature spirits.

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Sigurd found this trivet in the forest.

I think it might have belonged to the old lady living alone on this site, a million years ago, this forest once sparkled with life (I wrote about the pioneers here)

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There you have it.
My current forest life.
I´m Baking. Eating. Walking. Working. Fixing. Finding. Watching. Appreciating.
Still thinking…. ( a lot)… but the body wanted me to fixate all of the thinking into something definite.
I recommend that strategy.

6 comments on “This is my life right now

  1. Tres Jolie says:

    Hello Andrea from far across the world in California! I just came to your blog by way of recommendation from Ben Hewitt in another part of the world (Vermont). I love your blog! I love your style of writing! So I subscribed. I am Renee. I am 64 years old and 3 years ago I had a very bad illness that almost killed me. My life at the time was not helping me heal. So my husband and I made a plan to escape and then we worked the plan and then we escaped. Now we are living way out in the country on the edge of the Mendocino National Forest. My back pain is gone and my illness is under control and even though we are “poor” we are happy and that is a kind of richness few people have. I agree with you about how-to writing. So I like how you wrote a how-to blog but made it a lot more than just that. You are an inspiration the way you reveal your thought process and feelings. I look forward to your next blog. Thank you very much!

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    1. How nice to hear- thank you! I actually think this aspect of the body needs to be elaborated more upon. Our bodies reacted in such strange ways to moving into the wild. We seldom get sick now (it happens though) but on the other hand our bodies often HURT. I could´t understand this hurt…. but maybe are bodies are supposed to hurt? After work? I don’t know. I´ve been thinking a lot about this and it´s really once to hear your story- this aspect (of the body) really interest me now… Thanks for following1

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      1. Tres Jolie says:

        I began as a child running wild in the farmland of the mid-west but when I grew up I stopped this outdoor life and began life at a desk sitting in a chair. That’s when all my problems began. But I had to make a living for my family some way. My sister and I have decided that our family’s bodies were meant for outdoor work. We were farmers for generations. Some of our ancestors got diabetes but because they worked outdoors they were able to keep it under control without medication. Once my husband and I moved here the theory became real. Before I came here I thought I should be able to overcome lack of outdoor life. Now that I am here I see this was a great mistake. But that was my path and I feel so grateful to the Universe that I was allowed to live long enough to come back. For you it depends on how much your body hurts. Maybe you are trying to do too much and you have to find a different way to do what you need to do. But maybe it’s hurt that comes from good honest labor. Because we are old(er) people my husband and I must rely on a lot of mechanical help or we would be messed up all the time.

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  2. Wren says:

    Hi Andrea. I’m a new reader (brought, like others, your way by Ben Hewitt) and I just want to say that I have been doing some back reading and I am loving your thoughts and your words.

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    1. Thank you!
      (and I think I might owe Ben Hewitt a giant chocolate cake by now- I´ve never had so many american readers before 🙂

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      1. Wren says:

        I’m Australian, so that’s some more diversity! 😉 🙂

        Like

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