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
Pepper cookies in the jar
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.
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.
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
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.
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
This is his playground
We study the green
and the grey
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)
… 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!)
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.
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)
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.