“Are you trying to create some sort of movement?” someone asked me and I said no. “But I’m part of a movement”
Being part of something seems to be increasingly important to me.
I’m part of a movement of people who “opt out”, leave the loop, go back to nature and/or try to build themselves more sustainable lives on small-scale homesteads around the world.
It is a movement of people who are fed up with the exploitations of the capitalistic system, a movement of people experimenting and trying to find new ways of raising kids and being together, working together, exchanging gifts, thoughts, blood.
Rewilding is a beautiful thing, a fabulous movement of people reconnecting with land, ancestors, themselves…. I guess we’re part of that movement. Old and stubborn as we are.
There have been movements like this ever since industrialisation. Thought the hippies where the first? Think again. The first “nature boys” came from Europe, they saw a world of growing globalisation (import of goods and spices from the colonies), communication (telegraph, railways), unequal distribution of the wealth (great poverty, great riches) and geopolitical turmoil, wars.
This movement is kind of old.
Seems that we have been trying- continuously to protest and reform, seems as we have continuously – lost.
It’s good to know though… that the movement have roots.
(and I can’t help but notice this coincidence: historically the movement seems to gain in popularity just before the beginning of a great war)
Our entrance into this movement (and daily life) have however been rather different from a lot of the people you hear about (for instance in this National Geographic series called “live free or die”)
Because we have kids and because we had an established life before we did this.
We threw ourselves out there, into the wild, but our kids knew of a different world and our hearts/bodies/conceptions of times had been shaped by the system we wanted to leave.
And we were not young.
And we were not single guys.
We’ ve met a lot of young single guys though. Lots. Wandering boys. People travelling north to settle in primitive tribes in the great Finish forests. They’re good people, I’ ve enjoyed their company even the company of the ones practising some hip trend called “radical honesty” (one day I’ll tell you that story, it still makes me laugh so hard)
Some of these young people tell me about their ideology, how they recent the grid or plastic- but then they come to my house to use my electricity (from the solar panel) or drink the coffee that came in plastic wrapped boxes. Or use the internet.
I’ ve sen so many of them now. Travelling through. Older people too. Artist. Dreamers. Dedicated prophets and free-spirited vegans. Broken people. Refugees. Soldiers. A tribe of young Europeans tracking wolfs, raising their kids in the wild. Dudes buying farms together. Young couples in love working night and day in their new permaculture self-sufficient garden, getting pregnant, having loads of animals, getting tired.
I love these people wildly for trying, I respect trying…. so if they tell me that we make too many compromises, sell out, are too dependent on money or the internet I just smile, it doesn’t even annoy me anymore.
We have proven time here. They don’t.
I know it sounds horrible but it’s how I feel.
It’s far too easy to be ideological. It’s far too easy to protect your image of self. It’s far too easy… if you’re a lifestyle tourist. If you’re just passing through.
As I said: pragmatism. I choose pragmatism… but I love their ideology, I love their dedication and I think they are needed, they inspire me, make me think and ask questions. Stay true, stay true.
We have a car, our log cabin is insulated with some rock wool (the horror!), we use the internet and we need money. These are some of the (pragmatic) compromises we have made and I don’t regret them… these have been some of the sacrifices we made to make it work. It works. We’ve got it made, we really have; I write this in the comfort of my second home in the wild. 3 wood stoves burning, fresh clear well water in the bucket above the sink, food in the pantry and it’s a sunny day. This forest has been so good to us.
Yet I can’t help but feel a deep urge to connect with others like us. I can’t be the freight train or the trail blazer anymore, I can’t be the pseudo parent or the hostess, I want to PARTICIPATE.
Something bigger. Something larger.
That’s how I feel. This morning.