I began my life on a rural homestead in northern Wisconsin back in the early 1970s. My parents were back-to-the-landers, but it’s also safe to say they were not hippies. Just normal folks who were both born and raised in Chicago, but when the kids started coming along they decided a rural life – the simple life – was what they wanted instead. I can’t thank them enough.
Some 36 years later, having lived in every kind of place imaginable from that old rural homestead to the suburbs to the yuppified northside of Chicago, and now a mid-sized town in the northern Rockies, I’m looking to regain those roots my parents so steadfastly planted within me. The roots of the rural homestead.
I’ve been interested in voluntary simplicity, survivalism and preparedness for as long as I can remember. Every once in a while I *try* to break free of it – to become a standard 30-something professional. But in the end, I don my little skirt, my dirty feet and long for the simple life. I pick up my Thoreau, or my worn-out copy of The Good Life, and begin the day dreaming process of how I can get back to those roots.
The time has come.
I don’t expect this to be an easy process. I don’t kid myself that I won’t hurt, be frustrated, question my decisions, become lonely and wonder if I haven’t finally lost it. I think everyone who embarks on this journey goes through those things from day 1. I know the wolves will kill my chickens. I know forest fires will threaten my home. I know my garden will peter out. But I also know that my parents taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to, and that my spirit is stronger than the physical forces around me.