Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Debt Quote Tuesday/ I met a little Thoreau

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.
-Henry David Thoreau

I'm fascinated by almost every word in Walden. As many times as I've read it I've yet to actually read through it. There's so much to think upon. Thoreau was such an interesting man with such an interesting mind. He lived quite an elaborate experiment. He's now respected by so many but in honesty what would you think of someone you know if they told you they were going to move into the woods with virtually nothing and build a tiny home, grow some beans, read books, and think in their down time? 

If you're a minimalist like me you're thinking, "YEAH, more power to you. Way to go!!! It's a lifestyle I kind of dream of. I sort of envy you. You rock!" But would you REALLY think that? If a real person, someone you actually know, a person in your life at the moment told you they were going to "live off the land" starting from the ground up like Thoreau did what would you really think?

I conversed for a bit with a little Thoreau at a pub that my husband was performing at the other night. This individual has always been the town eccentric. He doesn't drive but has pretty much always rode a bike instead (for those of you over seas, in the US (at least outside of big cities) EVERYONE drives). He looks a bit like a pirate, like a Johnny Dep Pirates of the Caribbean pirate. He's a little guy with ALOT to say and he's friendlier with more energy than most people you'll ever meet. He moved away/ across country for several years. He's back now because his parents sold him several acres of land for $1. He was ecstatic about his new land. He said he planned to build a small home from the trees on the property. He was going to plant some crops and sell his goods at farmers markets or wherever. The entire time I conversed with this fellow I admired his passion and vision and I couldn't help thinking that I was talking with a modern day Thoreau. But he seemed like a crazy man. Our lives are SOOOOO involved with stuff and modern day conveniences for anyone to talk about living off the land and truly simplistic living it just seems too far fetched to be real.  

The whole experience has enlightened me a bit. I admire Thoreau so much but I'm now thinking that if I'd had met him when he was alive, lived when he lived, witnessed his experiment first hand I imagine I'd have been just like everyone else really. I'd have thought he was a crazy man. 

Life is about constant change and growth. If you're not changing, if you're not growing then in fact you're not really living. I'm not proud of this new revelation (about Thoreau and that in reality I think he's a crazy man) BUT I'm excited about the doors it opens. I've such a long way to go on this journey called life. There are so many passions within that don't line up with the steps I take. It's exciting really to think about taking new steps, steps that will bring me closer to the life I love, to the passions that are flaming within my chest. I'm excited about the idea of growing into the me I really want to be (even though I fully realize it shall take me a lifetime).

It took only a simple conversation with an eccentric pirate like person to help me better see. May your eyes always be open and ready to see something grand, something new in your little world!


  1. What an interesting post! I have to say that I hadn't heard of Thoreau before, but you're right; it sounds great to us now but he probably came across a bit nutty!

    I'd love to do that though! Not disengage so much with society, but become more self-sufficient! How about you?

    1. I think it'd be awesome to spend more time directly affecting my life. Now the majority of us work at a place of employment doing an odd job for income. Then we're able to purchase life's necessities with our income. I think it'd be really rewarding to grow your own food, take care of your own livestock, hand craft/ make items you need. It seems there'd be so much more life in everything, not so much of a disconnect. I think being self sufficient it sounds wonderful (and like a whole lot of hard work).

  2. Really enjoyed this. Humans have lived off the land as hunters and gatherers for most of their existence on the planet, doesn't seem crazy to me at all...What I find crazy is the kind of world we live in today.

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