Monday, June 6, 2011

Back to nature.

We had dinner with his sister and brother-in-law one last time before they climbed in their U-haul to leave on their new adventure.

They are disconcertingly enthusiastic… animated… almost manic conversations about log cabins and wood fired hot waters… hand drilling water wells… chickens and  gardens and cutting firewood…

They are going back to nature.

It is all very romantic.  But I have been there… done that.  It is not as much fun as you might think.  I have carried water.  I have used an outhouse on dark cold wet nights.  I have bathed once a week in tepid water in a wash tub, tepid because I was the third to use it, washed clothes in a bucket.  It was an adventure… a magical romantic summer in the remote wilds of Alaska but I was happy to come home to hot showers and dishwashers and televisions and computers and washing machines… and flush toilets.  The reason those times are romantic and fun is that in the end you know you get to come home and really appreciate the benefits of technology. 

I cannot imagine doing all that primitive romantic stuff when the snow is deep and the sky is dark and icy cold.  I cannot imagine doing it for the rest of my life.

But I must confess something… the thought of it is seductive.  But no electricity?  …no computer?  …no paycheck?  …no health insurance?  …no INTERNET? 

But later that night I lay awake in the dark… awake and thinking of log cabins and gardens and chickens… wistful… maybe just a little wishful…  wishful that I had the youth, the energy, the vision, the commitment… the courage.

1 comment:

  1. i agree; the idea has its 3 a.m. seductive qualities...but i can't imagine doing it for... well, for good. Even Thoreau had a time limit on how long he would stay at Walden.

    Of course, my Dad used to say that his idea of "roughing it" was a Holiday Inn, so perhaps i just don't have the spirit? Dunno.

    i hope they will be okay. i know i'd be scared to death if i were in their shoes. Perhaps a little romanticizing will go a long way toward helping them through this? Thinking of your family; hoping they'll be all right.