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Thursday, October 15, 2009

There is no grey area

Hello again.  For all my friends who follow my humble rants, you will notice a new look and also that I havn't posted for some time. We have been away all summer. For nearly four straight months we were camping in the mountains and practicing "all things survival".  The new blog look reflects a realization that we discovered over the course of this summer. And that is:  there is no grey area. Things really are black and white. You either do or you do not. You take a stand or you do not. You make changes or you do not. You get up off your ass and do what needs to be done or you make excuses. You act or you do not. Everything else, all those excuses we use to make things difficult are just distractions. Your ego or conditioning or whatever you want to call it, chattering in the back of you head, "rationalizing" the situation or problem or issue-it is your enemy! When you are cold and hungry and it's raining, again, you start hearing this voice that makes excuses and says  how hard or difficult it would be to make that fire and cook that food, how it would be so much easier if you were back at home and could just open the cupboard or fridge, how nice it would be to just turn up the heat. It is then that you start to see a pattern. We have been trained to be lazy and yet feel like we're so overworked. All the gadgets that are supposed to make life simpler just keep us busier without any real return. We don't have any more free time to spend with family. Society and all the 'things' around us are just distractions. We are all running so very fast and yet getting nowhere. We see the difficult as a problem instead of an oportunity. We have been trained to be afraid of a challenge. We have been trained so completely by this beast system that we don't know how to make decisions. We have been trained to be complacent. Things are black or white. You get up and make that fire and feed your family and enjoy doing it because the very act brings satisfaction and your strength feeds the strength and character of your loved ones or you make things difficult for yourself and argue with your inner "enemy" and do a half assed job taking all the shortcuts you can, grumbling and wishing for your chains of servitude that you willing put on.

We decided during last winter to really give "survival living" a dry run. We asked ourselves alot of big questions. How do you really live with none of the amenities and luxuries that we are accustomed to? What is really needed and what is just fluff? When the rubber hits the road what just becomes a burden to carry around? Do we have it in us to REALLY bug out and SURVIVE? Do we really have the personal strength and determination to step into an unknown future, leaveing everything behind except for what we could carry and what was absolutely necessary for survival? Could you? Are you ready for that possibility? Are you prepared? Could you feed yourself? Will you stay warm?

We learned a lot about ourselves. Our strengths and weaknesses, our abilities and shortcomings. It's cold in the mountains in late May. It rains a lot too. We had a tent we called the "condo" because it was so big and roomy, plenty of room for 2 adults and 2 kids we thought. Funny how such a relatively large living area can shrink in size and become almost claustraphobic. As day 4 of constant rain and cold turned into day 8 we all realized that a sense of humor was an essential key to not just survival but your sanity! Do you know how hard and frustrating it is to cook in the rain and cold? When we rediscovered our sense of humor things were so much better. Yes it was cold and wet but we told jokes and learned to work together, each doing what they were capable of and things fell together quickly and our simple meals tasted like gourmet cuisine. We enjoyed eachothers company more than at any time I can remember. When was the last time you saw an 8 & 10 year old sit with their parents-quietly-watching life around them? We discussed everything and anything that came to mind. We watched squirrels, deer, groundhogs, birds and bugs for hours. And we practiced everything. I taught the kids how to fish. We followed game trails,  learned which wild plants in our area were food or medicinal and gathered and used these plants. Some were delicious. Some were tolerable. Some we absloutely hated the taste of. We learned how to make baskets, how to start a fire under just about any condition. Where the best place to build a shelter was and how to build shelters. They look so easy to do in the books. They are pretty easy if everything is perfect. But when you are cold, hungry and/or tired it becomes a different event! We learned how to cook with the sun and how to build snares. But most of all we learned what was really important, necessary or useful and what things were just extra and in most cases simply extra baggage we hang onto because we are so used to having so many "things" around us. While living so simply we experienced the supreme presence of the Divine, an interconnectedness of life and a sense of freedom and pride and contentment that I have not experienced before.


Gen-IL Homesteader said...

Great post! It sounds like you guys had quite an adventurous summer!

Anonymous said...

Great story! I hope you can post pics of your adventures.

American Prepper said...

You make some very good points! I'd like to see some pics too when you get a chance to post some. Also I sent you an email with a link to a test page with this same template but with a 3rd column, masthead and menu bar. Let me know what you think

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