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"Our lives are a book that has already been written. The brilliance of the plan is that we are only given a chapter at a time..." ~A. Drayton Boylston

Monday, June 25, 2012

Re-Connecting with Nature: Moving Towards Energy Independence & Self-Sufficiency

When I was in my teens, I often sketched solar homes in my spare time (which I had a lot of back then).  I was so oddly familiar with them, that both my art and science teachers asked me to talk about them in class.  There was a solar home by the lake in Reading Massachusetts that every time my Mom or Dad would drive by it with me in the car.... I would proudly yell "I'm going to own a house like that someday!"  It got to the point where they would say, "I know, you're going to own a house like that someday" before I could even mention it.

If I had gone to Montserrat College of Art and majored in Architecture like I had intended.... I would probably be designing solar homes today.

I took Forestry classes in college and was fascinated by different types of trees and the region, and sustainable living practices.  I wanted to major in Forestry at UNH at one point but my Dad said he couldn't imagine that there were any careers available for Forestry majors.

Somehow along the way, I got lost.  I gave in to certain expectations that were held by family members and society in general.  I lead a wasteful life like most other people.  And even now as a more aware and nature conscious person.... I still lead that life with only a few minor changes.  And being a homeowner pretty much trapped in an upside down situation.... its even more difficult to live the way that is in my heart, and the way I feel we must all move towards.

We fill our bodies with toxic thoughts and cause ourselves to become sick.  We are over-medicated by our doctors.  Our own government is allowing the poisoning of our food.  Cannabis, a natural heal-all that has helped more people deal with pain and disease than any medication.... is illegal.  Are we helpless to stop what's happening?  We're certainly being made to think that there is nothing that we can do. And those that try, the rebels of society, are considered crazy.

We can be so disconnected from nature in our modern world yet we are a product of nature. I wonder how much of our mental and emotional pain is made so much worse because we have lost this natural connection that is so healing. The drama and trauma of human life tends to obstruct life energy so it becomes things like depression, anxiety, anger and confusion. To Mother Nature this is all just life energy and so in reconnecting with her she can help us remove the obstructions and free this energy returning it to source while allowing it to flow through us in a way that allows us to live fully connected with life.  The environmental crisis is a manifestation of our disconnection.

There is a new age, a revolution if you will, that is about to occur.  If you do any kind of work with trees.... you will hear the trees talking about it.  A time is coming when we will need to be self-sufficient.  We will need to grow our own food, produce our own energy, and know how to survive in the modern society we have become servants to.  Some may think this is stepping back, but really it is stepping forward.... it is how we are meant to live, and how we need to live in order to survive and heal our planet.  Many people already know this and have taken the step forward for themselves and their families.  But many cannot due to needing to work and not having enough money to make the changes needed in their lifestyles.  Tying up loose ends for many of us, will take quite a while.

My suggestion would be to start now.... if only with arming yourself with knowledge than anything else.  Take small steps which will turn into big steps later.  And when you find there is a strength that you have.... share your knowledge with others.  Becoming self aware and more nature aware is not impossible.  We can teach ourselves and teach each other.

There are some great resources out there about homesteading and learning to live off the grid.  Here are just a few:

A list of Homesteading blogs....  http://www.livingoffgrid.org/homesteading-blogs/
A story about how one family learned to live off the grid.... http://www.motherearthnews.com/Modern-Homesteading/Living-Off-The-Grid-Forever.aspx (Mother Earth News in general has a lot of great articles and information on survivalism).
Hopewell Farms in Newbury NH .... the only energy independent farm in New Hampshire.... http://www.newburyfarmer.com/about-homesteading/
Organic and Sustainable Farms Directory for NH - http://www.farmerspal.com/organic-farms/region/new-hampshire/page/1/
Backwoods Home Magazine.... http://www.backwoodshome.com

There are also a few books I've read recently that I highly recommend, on living off the grid, re-connecting with nature, etc....

Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life that is Outwardly Simple and Inwardly Rich
Off the Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government and True Independence in Modern America
Homesteading: A Back to Basics Guide to Growing Your Own Food, Canning, Keeping Chickens, Generating Your Own Energy, Crafting, Herbal Medicine, and More
Mini-Farming: Self-Sufficiency on a 1/4 Acre
The Healing Power of Trees 
I also highly recommend Gary Lincoff's book The Joy of Foraging.  I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of the book, and I think its wonderful.  It comes out soon!

And for those who live in New Hampshire, there is a workshop on Foraging which is being hosted by the Northshore Witches Meetup Group on July 14th from 10am to 4pm, location to be determined.  You can keep up to date with the info by joining the meetup group online here.... http://www.meetup.com/NorthShoreWitchesMeetup/

Here is the description of the workshop:

Foraging for wild food is becoming more and more popular as people become more interested in eating organic and local fresh food, but foraging is also about sharing. It is about the Earth sharing with us and us humans sharing with the Earth. It’s about taking some, and leaving some. It’s about participating in the endless cycles of birth and growth.

Today, most consumers live in close proximity to a large grocery store, where hunting through the butcher’s cold case or deli and foraging in the produce section is about as close to the food source as they will ever get. But we should always remember that our survival starts with the land - and our connection to it.

Through these outings we hope to gain an understanding about where we stand in this world, of what we stand on, and of how we are connected to it. It is living a life that promotes peace with the land. That does not struggle, but enjoys. That does not destroy, but rejuvenates. It is life in all ways in accordance with the higher commands of nature.

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