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He likes to lay down and eat snow

 

 

1. Sometimes, when the sun sets, the snow turns pink. It’s a marvellous phenomenon… just as intriguing as how it feels to walk on a crisp, thawed and refrozen thick layer of snow, to sink in deep, knee-high. Just marvellous.

2. “The forest is a protected place… and the meeting that takes place in it and with it is naked and husked”

Clearly I have been missing my friend. Clearly he knows about the forest, it is because of him we even live here. Right here.
We haven’t been speaking to each other for a while. The meeting that takes place in the forest is also relentless…  but lately we have been mending the relation.
Emotional nakedness is the worst and feeling husked is not particularly pretty however there is deep human connection, there is forgiveness, there is tribe… in the forest.

These are the things I naturally lean up against. Nature and relations. These are things I write about and the things that occupy most of my mind – however I do realise that for a lot of people a primitive off grid wilderness pioneer life is a PRACTICAL challenge. How do we fetch the water (we walk down to the well with a bucket, never wear crocks), what do we eat (food), how do we live without a refrigerator (no problem) or how we shower (seldom or with a cloth).

Surely we have undergone some changes and surely we have learnt a LOT of practical stuff, tips and tricks (if you wood burning stove is leaking smoke cover the surface with ashes, brush it, perfect!) but somehow the practical stuff never seemed to be the biggest challenge.
Relations where.
How to interact with nature was. The alienation and the fear.
One thing I realize though is that the first and foremost most important practical thing about our life is this: You need to be able to tolerate a fair amount of discomfort. This is really paramount. The rest is practise.
You put in some elbow grease before you get to see the pink snow.

 

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We have decided to make courses. Seasonal courses: spring, summer, autumn, winter courses.
You know I’m against courses. I don’t think any course in the world will teach you what you need to learn or prepare you for anything, in my mind’s eye most courses are a waste of time. So there’s that.
However I also realize that there seems to be a big interest in visiting us and smelling/looking at this lifestyle. Head first.

 

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Plus we need the money. Plus we really have something to say. Plus skills most be passed on, right, otherwise skills die.
Plus we ourselves wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for our friend who told us “You won’t die, relax, the forest is a protected place..” Plus people should know about the pink snow. If they knew they wouldn’t pour poison and plastic into the oceans.
Yeah.

First course will be THIS EASTER (april) and I’m giving you, the readers of this blog a heads up.
Five people, five days in a row, five thousand kroner pr person.
You get to live very primitively in a tipi in the wild, no electronic devices allowed, no showers or flushing toilets or “personal space” (unless you practise your walking) – but on the other hand you get the very best of us. All of our experiences, tips and tricks, our best advises.

Send me an email if you’re interested: andreahejlskov@gmail.com
As I said space is limited and this is for the early birds.

 

A COURSE IN PIONEERING

 

A day or learning about firewood.
How to take down a tree. How to chop it up. How to stack it.
You need to know about birch bark and the difference between trees. You need to know about “emergency firewood” and how to maintain an axe. In this climate self sufficiency regarding firewood is really essential.

A day of learning about food.
How to live without a refrigerator, how to can and store food, how to take care of the food, how to use every resource, how to butcher a rooster, how to forage (if spruce sprouts are ready we’ll be making cough syrup and other spruce related food items), how to grow food in the forest, how to make dinner over open fire.
This day the course leader will be our neighbour Debby who is a specialist in canning. There will be canning. Lots of canning.

 

A day of learning about natural building.
The natural occurring building material in the forest is timber. No strawbalehouses or hobbit house here, you will be taught how to build a cabin and you will participate in our sauna project meaning that you get to work a log with an axe. It takes practise to learn how to do that. You also need to know how to make rafts (for housebuilding as well as fencing) and you need to know about different sorts of building techniques suited for different sorts of purposes and you will taught about time.

 

A day of base camp
An excursion to our first place in the forest, where we built our first log cabin. You will be taught about terrain, good places to settle, reading the landscape, differences between summer and winter life, drinking wild water, foraging. Good advises and hard-earned knowledge is shared. Then you will be taught how to build a fireplace, how to build a fire, how to deal with wild animals, how to set up “base camp”, what you should consider, what you should bring.

A day of house and garden
How to set up a household in the wilderness: We´ll walk you through different types of electricity systems (as well as going completely without electricity). How to deal with compost toilets. Things to know about root cellars.
All of the little things that we take for granted: the practicality of daily life out here.

Self sufficiency: we’ ve been working with hugelkultur raised beds and we’ll teach you how to build them although we have changed our personal preferences and are now growing in lines and squares, not so round and picturesque  but more efficient. The hugelkultur is good for deep forest gardening (we have taken down all of the trees to get more sun) so it’s good to know about them. Forest gardening in general. A bit about animals.

PRACTICALITIES:
You get to sleep in our super nice tipi (there’s a wood burning stove in the tipi so it won’t be cold)
You get to eat super delicious local grown and organic food while learning a lot-  and you are very welcome to explore the forest around us (hiking, fishing, whatever you feel like doing) in the spare time.
Evenings will be about sharing stories and thoughts in the house- unless you want to sit and contemplate by the fire under the stars or hide in the tipi. Days will be about hard work and learning by doing…. and maybe about relations and nature too.

That’s it. Come with us.

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A wilderness course: Arrival 29 of March, departure 4 of April. 5000 kroner.
Write if you’re interested: andreahejlskov@gmail.com

 

60 comments on “About pink snow and courses

  1. Scott says:

    Wow, what an opportunity! Unfortunately I am a few countries and an ocean away.

    I understand what you are saying: the minute-by-minute, day-by-day activities come no matter what. You learn tricks as you go, more if you’re paying attention 😉

    I will be very interested in hearing how the week goes. What are people most curious about, most surprised by, etc. Very brave to offer such an intimate class.

    Like

    1. We have thought about this for a long while (couple of years) because we didn’t want to “commercialise”… keeping it intimate and small scale is important to us 🙂

      Like

  2. Butik Frigg says:

    Hej Andrea…..har i tænkt i at lave en film om det hele, om jeres liv i skoven, evt. med praktiske tips til andre som vil kaste sig ud i et sådant liv, eller blot noget som kan minde om det i gør…..? Det kan være til tv, evt. serie med måske 8 -10 programmer, eller til salg på anden måde. Sig til hvis det er noget i tænker i, min mand jakob er tv-mand 🙂 Det var bare en “lyn-tanke ” Kh. Anita

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    1. Ja, det har vi tænkt over især i forbindelse med at vi deltog i en temalørdag om stress på DR2. Vi har hørt fra rigtig mange producere men det er aldrig rigtig blevet til noget 🙂 (udover de små klip vi lavede til Anders Lund Madsens “Dårligt Nyt” show)

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  3. BeeHappee says:

    Interesting Andrea. More details to come? Would be interested in a course like this, if it was closer, and a bit cheaper, and allowed kids. 🙂
    Very neat that you are teaming up with your neighbors on this. I think it is a beautiful idea. Good luck and interested to hear how it goes.

    Like

    1. I’m interested too. It’s a brand new plan. Something we have been talking about for a while. Please let me know what you are thinking. What else would you like such a course to include? What seems most interesting to you? Would love feedback from everyone 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. BeeHappee says:

        Good questions, Andrea. You covered all the basics, I think, plus you know what was important to you. Hard to say what people may like, you may find various interests, some may be more interested in cabin building, while others – in food and cooking. I think your plan sounds pretty good, you have main guidelines, and then just go with the flow, or be flexible if you need to switch days or topics around because of interest or weather. Good idea to have everyone involved in your sauna building 🙂 that way it can get done in one day. . When people express interest in registering, you can pre-screen them and see what you get – what the interest is, you may end up with 2 different camps with slightly varying interests. You did not mention anything about hunting/trapping type of things, I am assuming you guys do not do much of it? It sounds like an aggressive schedule to fit it all in, you may end up scaling it down.
        Hope you end up doing one of these in the summer, so I can leave kids with grandma and take a ferry from my parents to Sweden. 🙂 How far are you guys from the coast?

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  4. ncfarmchick says:

    I haven’t been to your part of the world in about 12 years (my relatives keep coming over here to visit, my great aunt comes to us next week from Oslo, as a matter of fact.) But, this is so tempting, as Bee and Scott say, if not so far, if boys not so young, etc. Plus, I REALLY dislike flying anymore so….that may prove to be a problem for me one day! Even though I have taught things to people in various capacities in my past, I am with you on the skepticism about organized courses. We live in a world that wants to put credentials on everything and there is a course for pretty much anything – things that used to be only taught generation to generation or neighbor to neighbor. Wonderful that you are finding a way to fill the gap in this passed-down knowledge for a lucky few people. This is wonderfully generous of you to offer and, I imagine, you will learn a lot from your participants, as well. Whenever I have taught something in the past, I was often surprised at what people struggle with most or are most interested in – not always what you, as teacher, anticipate. I will look forward to whatever you choose to share with your readers, as I do all you have to share.
    Pink snow..I’ve seen it and forgotten how beautiful it is. Thank you for the reminder! I am currently looking forward to snow of any color for a couple of little boys to eat.

    Like

  5. Scott says:

    I like how your photos go well in your post, haha! Following your talk of hard work and payoff, a picture of peaceful trees and pink snow, then a dog diving in headfirst, then the photo “coming with” your kiddo. (I assume that’s Sigurd…)

    Like

  6. Tres Jolie says:

    Holy Moses! What a wonderful idea. I can’t come and I’m bummed! If I lived within driving distance I’d be there in a heart beat. Your smorgasbord of treats sound like the best vacation anywhere.

    Like

  7. nicoleaugust says:

    “The forest is a protected place… and the meeting that takes place in it and with it is naked and husked”

    A poem for you:
    “Intimate Associations

    The natural world is a spiritual house, where the pillars, that are alive,
    let slip at times some strangely garbled words;
    Man walks there through forests of physical things that are also spiritual things,
    that watch him with affectionate looks.

    As the echoes of great bells coming from a long way off
    become entangled in a deep and profound association,
    a merging as huge as night or as huge as clear light,
    odors and colors and sounds all mean—each other.

    Perfumes exist that are as cool as the flesh of infants,
    fragile as oboes, green as open fields,
    and others exist also, corrupt, dense, and triumphant,

    having the suggestions of infinite things,
    such as musk and amber, myrrh and incense,
    that describe the voyages of the body and soul. ”
    – Beaudelaire
    translated by Robert Bly

    Like

  8. Oh Beaudelaire! Love him… 🙂

    Like

  9. I do live within driving distance…. but I have my own course over here. 😉
    I’d be very interested to see how you are going to fill in such a course.
    Looking at the programme I notice it seems very…. busy. Looks like a crash course.

    Like

  10. BeeHappee says:

    I think Ron maybe meant his life there as a “course” but I don’t know. . Andrea, don’t call it a course, just a survival camp, or wildwoods camp, or something like that. . Good luck. How are you thinking in promoting it? Should be able to get some interest reaching out across Denmark, Sweden and Norway. .
    I mapped your address, you are quite a ways from the Baltic, on the western part of SE (makes sense, you mention those Norwegians skiing). But the woods look so expansive in Sweden and part of Norway. Are the wooded areas pretty preserved there, no logging? Who owns those lands? Privately owned or national parks? Would like to travel there some day though from Stockholm to Oslo through your woods. Was there a reason you guys chose that part? Does it get crazy cold more north closer to Sundstvall area? I bet less inhabited though. .

    Like

    1. You got it, Bee….
      Life around here has been one single course and not an easy one. As Andrea pointed out the practical lessons are the easy ones…
      Unfortunately are woods in Sweden far from pristine…. In my eyes, as a European mainland, citygrown non-Swede, they ravage the land, but I am sure they have a perfectly sound vision and explanation on their behaviour.

      Like

      1. You do have some nice swedish pictures on your blog though, Ron! 🙂

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      2. BeeHappee says:

        Some good links you have on blogs you follow also. No Andrea’s blog though? 🙂

        Like

  11. Don’t have a real course-course like you. Just a course on “low impact living” on the highschool of life. Meaning I am learning the things you did the hard way by doing them myself. Is that homeschooling for adults?
    Learning by mistake has the most value, because that sticks with one.

    And I have to agree with you on the pink snow, the relations and on the discomfort-parts. The first one is an awesome, unreal experience, the second one is a lesson as hard as hell and the third one… We sure did learn to tolerate it. Heck even got used to it.

    Like

  12. 🙂
    (deleted my comment because I could feel myself moving into a defensive position and I don´t belong there). But it IS a course. People will learn a lot (even if it an introductory course)… but I don´t believe in the model where some teacher stands in front of you and tell you stuff. I´ve done that plenty in my life (been a teacher at university, a coach and a workshop facilitator, I know how it is and I don´t think it´s an optimal learning situation). I agree with you Ron: homeschooling for adults! It rocks (as well as learning by mistake does) 🙂

    As for your questions, Bee: Most of the forest around here is logged. Giant alien machines destroying everything on their way. We live in the southernest part of the great Finnish forest (called “Finskogen”) and when we got here we thought it was insanely wild, no people anywhere, but now we think it´s crowded 😉
    The forest here is privately owned and most of the forest is held in the families for generations. We don´t own the land we live on. We live on so called “un-free land” which is a concept here (since rich families tends to own everything, don´t they?). The lady who owns this forest kindly lets of live here because she.. I don´t know, maybe she gets what we´re trying to do. We didn´t (and don´t) have the money to buy land, initially this was a big problem for me but it´s not anymore (and I think it has to do with some kind of deprogramming regarding the importance of ownership and property right.

    The only reason we chose this part of the world was because there was an OPPORTUNITY here. The owner of the valley where we built our first log cabin is a big hearted Swede and he offered us to live there and try out this crazy dream of ours. Sure, I would have loved someone if France offering me the same but someone if France didn´t 😉

    Pure chance luck.

    It´s better for wilderness if you go further north from here- but it´s more difficult for self sufficiency regarding food, then you´d need to hunt a lot more (and we don´t hunt). I often dream about going somewhere more remote than here (from a dane this is crazy wild but as I said it´s not anymore) but then again…. opportunity is here. This forest has been very good to us (and we´d like to share our experiences and practical skills, so write me if you want to join the course, it´s going to be great 🙂

    Like

    1. BeeHappee says:

      🙂 Yes, a five hundred year old winery in France, or a pristine mountain house in Switzerland would be just super dandy for me also. 🙂 But hey, you cannot say no to free Swedish forest either. I agree with Ron on human contact, especially when you have children 5 yrs and older. Distances in your neck of the wood are not so bad (unlike USA), so it takes you less time to drive from your wild woods into the city than it takes me to drive from my urban sprawling suburbia into the city, and I can drive still for an hour the other direction and still not reach the farmland, let alone wilderness.

      Ron, I just saw you have a blog, and glanced at the images, looks so awesome!!! Love the pictures, and the dogs. Will be following for sure. Like the play on words of the title and the deepness of the snow. We will go snowshoeing here soon if we get fresh stuff, and go see Huskies race. Happy birthday! If it is Jan 13th, then we are born on the same day. 🙂
      How long had you guys been in the woods?

      Like

      1. Than a belated happy Beeday to you as well!
        We’ve been in Sweden for 3,5 years now, but own the place we live in since october 2012.

        Like

  13. No need to be defensive, Andrea as a) no offense was meant and b) it is your idea, your goal and anyone who disagrees with that…. Well, that’s their “problem”, isn’t it?
    And living even more remote? I do believe in the social nature of man. We need one another, not just to survive on a practical level, but also on an emotional and social level. Living alone would slowly.. not destroy the inner person, but certainly damage or at least negatively alter it.
    I certainly had the same idea as you did when I moved here, yet now I find myself longing for more serious and in depth human contact.

    Like

    1. Yeah, I know Ron, I´m edgy today 🙂
      My dream is to live even more remote but at the same time have a healthy community around me, something to PARTICIPATE in, something bigger and larger than us and our little bubble. As the poet says:

      “Do I contradict myself?
      Very well.
      Then I contradict myself.
      I am large.
      I contain multitudes”
      (lawrence)

      🙂

      Like

      1. ncfarmchick says:

        I have these exact same feelings. Hard to reconcile the two sides of yourself, isn’t it?

        Like

      2. Duality is my middlename….
        Poetry doesn’t usually work for me, but this one I like… a lot.

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  14. syberpunk says:

    The social nature off man … what is that ?
    Is it what i want it to be , or is it a manipulated flockmentalety ?
    Im not shure , wether what it is or if i need it .
    Its importend to experiece it , to get to know it .

    Didint we run away to hide from it to the woods, the oce
    an and desserts .

    We might miss the fun off it , but do we miss the price for it ? Or do we feel free now ?
    I do feel free now and even more since i dont feel i have to have people around me .
    Do i suffer , well .. if i want to -yes .
    But dose it realy hurt me – no .

    I like people – sometimes .
    And when i like them i get more out off the meeting . I guess i reflekt myself in them .

    Social nature …. reflektion – i guess there is more to it . There is war and peace in all .
    Even in nature . I can reflekt that too .
    And i can reflekt on myself or the fire , the elements.
    I like to be with People who dont need people .
    People how stands on personal ground and let me have mine .
    Social nature .. ?

    Like

  15. Søren says:

    When you shine the light of Truth, the light of Love through a Ruby Red Star the hue becomes Pink, just like the Snow. Love is the true Color of Hue-manity ….. I do believe we have a visitor in our Skies, the purifying light of Love …. no Fear, its all Love

    We all get to choose a new Course … or not. We have free will
    Andrea, you were so right about the Courses 🙂

    Nothing makes sense, that’s the BEAUTY of LIFE

    Like

    1. Tres Jolie says:

      Love it Soren! Crazy logic! “Nothing makes sense, that’s the beauty of life.” !

      Like

  16. syberpunk says:

    Both fear and hope is manipulativ .
    I rather make peace with objektivity even thou it hurts or dont fit my believes .
    Love is a nice concept , but its not all there is .
    Not in me or what i see .
    It makes sence to be awere , God strategy to not be manipulated or fool myself .
    Live is komplex , a activ process , its up to me to give it sence , stepping over subjektivety and live life with open (I) eye .
    There is nothing to hope or fear when you put your self in charge , rule your life .
    Peace

    Like

    1. BeeHappee says:

      You can put yourself in charge wherever you are, desert or city, crowds of people. But if you put yourself in isolation for extended periods of time, you go insane. One of the most successful methods of torture after all. .
      http://io9.com/why-solitary-confinement-is-the-worst-kind-of-psycholog-1598543595
      Solitary confinement in a SHU can cause irreversible psychological effects in as little as 15 days.

      I do not believe for a second you guys (sybepunk or others) claim to not like people or just “sometimes”..heard that line before. . . trying to cover up some pain usually saying you do not need people.
      I like people most of the time. 🙂 Does not mean I want to deal with them all the time, but like watching them if nothing else. There is no way you can not get tangled up in your own thoughts while staring at your walls, or your trees, or your cows, or your dogs and not go insane, without having anyone to bounce off your ideas or get understanding and approval. Lonely old lady keeps 30 cats and talks to all of them, and she is still crazy. .

      Interesting stuff. Keep talking. I am trying to figure out how deep in the woods to go. : )

      Like

      1. syberpunk says:

        Well Bee
        I dont disagry about that isolation is used as torture in prisson .
        I didt time too . Three month off them in isolation , in one peace – and ill tell you what – thous three month were the best time in prisson .
        To live in nature alone is no torture . It actualy heald me when i came from the street direct in to the woods .
        I lived as eremit some years and it bring me peace .
        I dont know if that says something about sociaty or me being crazy .
        I guess it takes a fool to remain sain .

        Anyhow – nature is good for us – and its good to be abel to lissen to your own thoghts, to get grounded in the earth and fly in the sky .
        I think civilisation is crazy , its a killer , its brainwashing , a slavery .
        I might be crazy , but i am free .
        Peace

        Like

      2. BeeHappee says:

        🙂 Stay well, syberpunk, will send you good thoughts. Yes, nature is good, unlike “civilization” or whatever it is. Good luck and peace. You know, in Russian word Peace is “Mir”, which is the same word for both Peace and World. So, you can say, that when you say peace be with you, you are saying World be with you. 🙂

        Like

    2. Eumaeus says:

      What isn’t concept?

      live life with open (I) eye

      there is nothing to hope or fear when you relinquish all control, surrender your life

      Like

      1. BeeHappee says:

        Oh no. . here we go, now Soren will chime in about the waters and oceans. 🙂
        Ok, I am off to eat some b-day cakes. My little one just put computer wires into the coffee here while I am reading all this surrender stuff. . . I am just thinking of Seinfield episode now: Serenity NOW!

        Like

      2. syberpunk says:

        You most surtenly will freez to death – out in the bush or be abused by someone controling you in civilisation .
        Way to go . I wound stop you .
        Nor will i follow the advice .
        I surrender the moment i die untill then i stand upp for life . I dont give upp .
        Thats why im still alive .

        Like

      3. Eumaeus says:

        And then I freeze to death… And then you die…
        What then?

        Like

      4. syberpunk says:

        You tell me

        Like

        1. Eumaeus says:

          We go back where we came from is the best I can muster.

          Like

      5. BeeHappee says:

        Ok, E, now you are exaggerating. Surrendering would not mean totally giving up. It would just maybe mean being at peace with freezing in the woods dying if you already explored all other options. . ?
        I struggle with that surrender thing. If you totally surrender, does it really mean you give control to the whatever ‘god/universe’ to take care of your life? I have Adya’s The End of your world in the trunk of the car here, will go read, maybe will get to some clarity. . maybe not.

        Poor Andrea is just about wondering how did her nice blog about building log cabins turn into this whole discussion. 🙂

        Like

      6. syberpunk says:

        Oh mama – i hope not .
        When i die i want to rott in peace .
        Let them wurms and trees and flowers have me .
        The sea swollow me or lieght the night for my friends a last time in a big fire .
        Yes the fire would be nice – mans best friend . Very romantik .
        Realy i hope im done when i finnish this upp .
        I try to do the best i can , that should do it .
        I even replikate . Live can go on without me .
        Whatever weare alive now and thats whats count . I guess there are as many ways off living it as there are people .
        I cant say anything about yours other then that your alive .
        For me is live that matters .
        I play it my way – you play it your way .
        It seems to work for both of us .
        Thats good enoght for me .
        Enjoy

        Like

      7. BeeHappee says:

        Syber, I know this was not addressed to me, but really this would not be a 2 paragraph conversation. I can see where you both are coming from. Good you have confidence in your path. Yes there are other ways to look at things. Or maybe just start with questionong.

        Like

  17. “nothing to fear when you put yourself in charge”…. I guess this is what I´ve been struggling with. I don´t trust (or like) myself a whole lot and thus I´ve been needing people around me, to reassure me, to love me…. but social relations are HARD man! 😉

    I love you guys.

    Like

    1. BeeHappee says:

      My dear lady, we love you, everyone loves you!! Can’t you see? Everyone loves you. 🙂 What’s not to love. . . Just forgive yourself, like Soren said one time/few times, and maybe you do need a vacation in the city with a nice bubble bath and a glass of wine instead of that cold washcloth in the log cabin (ok, just joking). I love your writing and your determination, and it gave me a lot of inspiration. Thank you!

      Like

    2. ncfarmchick says:

      Well, from where I sit, you seem pretty fearless to me. Well, maybe not completely lacking in fear but certainly brave. And not so much about the practical details of living in the forest (the kind of skills you will address in your course) but the emotional stuff. Breaking away from your former herd was a brave act and one that I think you don’t just do once but keep doing every time you bump into a situation where your current life pulls you away from who you once were and you realize you can’t go back to being that person. Not even if you said, “To hell with this” and fled right back to the grid, the city, the people, the everything. You are forever changed and that is a brave thing, a Viking thing!
      I agreed with you earlier about wanting to be a part of something bigger but, at the same time, thinking you need to be even more removed from civilization. I have asked myself if that desire to find “my tribe” is really just a lack of confidence. Am I looking for validation for what I think and the way I live? Do I need to have others around me doing the same thing to really believe that I’m not crazy? At one time, I think this may have been true. I organized a forest play group a couple of years ago (when my youngest was just a baby) and invited every family with young children I knew in my church (simply because it was the largest group of such people I knew or knew of.) I was so excited thinking I would have hordes of families frolicking through the woods with us and …..I never had more than 3 people come at once (not that that’s bad) and, after a year, hardly anybody came. I was so deflated. I couldn’t believe that no one could see what a wonderful thing this was, what a unique opportunity it was for all these town kids to breathe and run and explore. Apparently, gymnastics and music classes and dance classes and regular appointments with babysitters was more of a draw. I spent countless nights pondering and asking my husband, “Are we really that weird? Do people not see how wonderful this is? Why don’t they want to be a part of it?” I even put out feelers with local FB groups for “Natural Parenting” and “Attachment Parenting” and one for homeschoolers to see if anyone wanted to put together a forest play group and….crickets chirping…nothing. I’m still surprised about that. But, I’ve come to the conclusion I shouldn’t try too hard to make things happen but just allow them to happen. I know we are living the life we are meant to live and we will keep growing and learning in this way. I do wish for my boys to have others (beside us) to serve as mentors or just to be good examples of our values because I know, at some age, our influence will not be as great and the outside world will begin to take more of their interest. But, I cannot control that nor do I want to, I suppose. If others become interested in joining us in some way, that’s great. If not, I’ve got the internet (ha!) I certainly never thought my Luddite-leaning self would find more like-minded and like-spirited people through the use of a computer than I do outside my own door. But, I am grateful for this space and others which show me much of what I have looked for. Not sure if that makes you feel better, Andrea, but I do thank you.

      Like

      1. BeeHappee says:

        NC, well, if we ever move to NC, we will join you frolicking in the woods. 🙂 I hear you. We had good luck to just run into a group of like-minded people through Waldorf, and we created a little group – we met once a week in nature based play for a year and a half. . until some friends moved away and others started schooling. Now we have a great unschooling co-op opportunity with some really great families. And there are gazillions of homeschooling groups, cannot even keep up with all of them. But we are in huge metropolitan area, so there are just greater numbers, and still, I feel like my kids are often the outcasts in the crowd just because we teach and live differently. Are you in Charlotte NC area? Did you try Meetup for various groups?
        Most of the time we just end up going places, exploring, and just bumping into whoever, sometimes meeting interesting people. But kids wish they had some close friends, especially now that they are school age, and all school age neighbors are in school all day. . Neighborhood is basically dead. Impossible to arrange a playdate also, because all friend’s kids are in tons of classes, like you say. And I kind of gave up trying, like you.

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        1. ncfarmchick says:

          Thanks, Bee. I somehow thought you might know where I was coming from. No, we are about 2 hours east of Charlotte and the closest Waldorf school is about 1 1/2 hours away (not that we could afford to attend but we looked into it very seriously if only to find some people cut from a similar cloth, as they say.) Just one instance where I realize you can’t always run to where the things you believe in are happening, maybe you have to be the weird one for a while. Ten years ago, I never would have believed our little town would have an artisnal cheese shop but now we do and, this Spring, a butcher and bakery supporting local foods is coming. An organic orchard just about 10 minutes away from us opened this past summer. We have 3 great farmer’s markets (one year-round) and a CSA so there are people out there on the wavelength of food like us. I just can’t find many people with similar family or parenting styles. We even got kicked out (not really, but sort of) of the one homeschool group in the area because they didn’t want any members who were not traditional school age yet (and their only focus was on purely “academic” activities – not unschoolers or immersion leaners in the slightest, heavy purchased curriculum people.) I just thought, if learning is a life-long process, why would you exclude anybody from such a group but I guess that’s just me. Anyway, no more hogging Andrea’s space. But, I very much appreciate your kind words and suggestions, Bee.

          Like

          1. BeeHappee says:

            Wow, kicked out. Yes, I feel your pain. . Since we are in metro-Chicago, we have 3 Waldorf schools (cannot afford either, we just did parent child classes when kids were little). But I am glad to see things are changing slowly. If you do find any likeminded people, you can start your own unschooling co-op. We have Sudbury school here, but also pricey, but 5 families here started their own unschooling co-op. It took almost a year of searching for a rental space, organizing, but now we have one super great space for unschooled kids ages 0-18! No curricula whatsoever. I guess as they say, where there is a will, there is a way. Good luck to you.

            Like

      2. Scott says:

        Gracious, NC, nice post.
        Was it John Wayne who said, “Bravery is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
        Totally agree with the start of your second paragraph, starting “I agreed with you earlier about wanting to be a part of something bigger”. I am struggling with that right now. I am hoping now for a positive reaction, or at least not a whole bunch of resistance, from our parents when we tell them about this whole way of life idea. (re-wilding, self-sufficiency, unschooling, etc) I am looking at making that change you spoke of, NC, “Breaking away from your former herd”, while knowing that “you can’t go back to being that person” I am really grappling with the “Are we nuts?” question. Probably not “nuts”, but I think we (my family, and yours… this community) have to come to grips that choosing to live like this is not going to find much real-world, in-person support.
        (Side note: I am closely watching everybody’s kids comments since mine are not there yet, ages 3 and newborn. Trying to keep tips in my back pocket, so to speak!)

        Of course, all this talk of not finding many people to meet in person is contrasted by Andrea’s announcement of her course. It’s in the wrong country for me haha, but it still exists. Plus, Ben made a similar announcement a few days ago. These things give me hope, and should do the same for you NC. Good luck and thanks for sharing.
        PS. Since I am familiar with America and rural areas, I also wonder about your whereabouts, NC. Not in any detail, mind you, Just generalities. I myself live halfway between (or so) two large cities in KY. About a 35-40 min drive to get to the outskirts of that city. I feel like here, I could find kids of parents who love to hunt, (for example) who might be interested in getting together to learn about the wild. Maybe also places like farmer’s markets might have some leads.

        Like

      3. smcasson says:

        (sheesh, two comments, while I was working on the one!)

        Like

  18. BeeHappee says:

    NC just drop me an email at beehappeenow@yahoo.com sometimes so I have your contact info and we do not have to occupy Andrea’s space. 🙂
    Yes older kids means more need for social interaction unless you have a family of 10 kids, you can try that approach too, Scott. 🙂

    Like

  19. (just a quick note: you don´t have to worry about occupying this site, I really honestly enjoy that you are talking together, all of you, it´s beautiful, it is as it should be. Just don´t have the time to comment right now… because laundry)

    Like

  20. ncfarmchick says:

    Bee, you are the best. I’m sure you will hear from me soon. My boys are 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 so I know I have time to worry about the influences of the outside world. It is a precious and awe-inspiring thing to know WE are their world..at least for now. And, I do not want to rush their childhood (far from it) but I do want to be at least thinking ahead to what may be next.
    Scott, I am certain things will work out for you and your family. As long as you and your spouse are in agreement others will come to support you (or, at least, not give you a hard time) or they won’t. I always said I would live in a cardboard box to be with my husband (and now the boys, too) and it’s true. Never gotten that bad but realizing the truth in that and declaring it now and then helps make the other static in life less bothersome.
    We live about in central NC in part of the Longleaf Pine forest that extends down into GA. We live within walking distance of a Wildlife Conservation Club so shooting/hunting type people we have. My husband used to coach the youth air rifle team there. Interestingly, all but one of the members on his team were home schooled but they are all college-age now. I think this will be a resource when our boys are a little older and if they are interested in guns.
    Headed out now into the sun which has been very absent of late. Look forward to more conversation here later!

    Like

  21. ncfarmchick says:

    http://charleseisenstein.net/mutiny/
    I think this essay might speak to some of the things that came up here in the comments.

    Like

    1. syberpunk says:

      Could not have put it better then Charles .
      Perfect writing . READ IT .
      Thanx for posting farmchick .
      Like i wrote before – it takes a fool to remain sain .
      If you in a upwaking process its good to run – the system will put you back in chain , lock you upp and drug you down .
      Run to the hills – run for your live.

      Like

      1. ncfarmchick says:

        If you, or anyone else here has not read his work (especially his books “The Ascent of Humanity” and “The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible”, I could not recommend them highly enough. Long and not easy reading by any stretch of the imagination but the kind of books that change everything. You aren’t the same afterward.

        Like

      1. Just read it….
        It is more than a superb essay… so much more.
        To me it was a and a “personal” message that stuck a chord deep inside of me.
        I have to thank you for sharing and thank the author for writing it…. as I wipe the tears from my eyes.
        Thank you all…..

        Like

  22. Hehe that´s my line cyperpunk: run to the hills, run to the hills! (you know 🙂

    It´s an eye opener for me to read through your comments here. The absolute hardest part for me when we ran into the wild was my fear and anxieties; are we crazy? Is this a self-absorbed project? What about the kids? I had solo many worries and I was soooo uncertain about what we did. It was truly unknown territory and you don´t enter unknown territory all cocky and sure about yourself, it´s just not how it works.
    And it should´t. I think all of these emotions (are we nuts?) are a total result and unavoidable result of stepping outside societal norms. I think many people who step outside the norm are actually a whole more reflected about what they do and why- because they layed hard time in thinking about it, questioning it.

    I mean I am supposed to defend every aspect of my lifestyle when I enter media world. But about other people. Are they willing to do that? Could they do that?

    There a comes a point where the anguish turns into certainty, let me tell you, there comes a point where you just care anymore because you KNOW… that this is the REAL world and society is dying, people suffering, it´s an evil empire, run! 😉
    (My certainty is not to be confused with righteousness though. There are many paths. There should be many paths.

    Like

    1. syberpunk says:

      Actualy – run to the hill is a lyrik to a song from iron maiden . And i think they took it from some nativ american band .
      Anyhow .
      I like this meaning in the text from Charles .
      If you dont agry that something is wrong – i have nothing to say .

      I could even say – i have nothing to show you if you dont want to see .
      Yes it might scare what you see , you might not like it and the most scary part – onece you see it there is no way back .
      Take the blue pill and you wake upp and nothing is changed . Take the red pill and you see realety and everything is changed .
      People might not even like you for giving them a blue pill . It might be to much for them to handel , to much resposebillaty .
      So it is a difficuld chois how to give it and how to guide throw the trip off awerness .
      Its a hard battle even for the guide .
      The guide needs selfconfidece – its all there is .

      If someone telling you , your crazy . That tells more about the person than you .
      In the end i dont care about it , or if they take the blue or red pill .
      Its upp to them , its there trip . I wont even judge it .
      I just like to play it my way .
      Thats what i do , thats how my social nature looks like to . Its my way or the highway .
      I got my life to live . If we dont agree we can not play . Agreement is fundamentel for social iinteraktion . I mostly dont agree .
      Was it Satre how said – hell is other people
      Peace

      Like

      1. syberpunk says:

        Bad spelling – i know , its my signum .
        Just to say it – there is a agreement .
        Movement off the people . EXODUS .
        We will leave babylon behind in one way ore the other .
        Thats good with me . Life is good with me .
        And i am God – at least for my kids . ♡♡♡
        In our saga we are kings and queens and we create a world in freedom . We make peace with nature and we run , sail and fly over thous who try to put a chain on us .
        We have a lot off fun , love and trust – the ultimate agreement . The ultimate power .

        Like

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