While at Lowe's yesterday (why are we there so often??), I came across a magazine about modern homesteading. It's becoming a growing trend among a lot of different types of people. It seems more dangerous as time goes on to depend on others for our food, electricity, running water, heat, and so on...what happens if one or all of these things were to be unavailable suddenly? Modern civilization would collapse upon itself. There have been riots, earthquakes, and natural disasters of gigantic proportions this last year. If a tornado wiped out your town, would you be able to live without the basic needs that would be interrupted (as in the case of Joplin, Missouri or Japan)?
I hate the rat race. I hate having to commute to a job I don't like every day. I think I would make a great hermit, actually! I like to imagine living out in the country somewhere, secluded away from the traffic, stress, and frustration of everyday life as it has become. I don't believe that we're supposed to work in big office buildings, with a little windowless cubicle as our space. I can't for one second describe how mundane and tedious so much of the work and paperwork associated with an office job actually is (TPS reports, anyone?). Yes, we all need to work. Yes, we can't really get by in the world without money. But the need for money greatly decreases when you are independent of "the grid"! How much more satisfying would life be if you were only dependent upon yourself for your needs! Our grandparents and great-grandparents (and all of the generations before them) lived this way. They survived. Life was hard, but I do not believe for a moment that they would trade what they had for what we have today. I am not saying I want to give up the modern conveniences of indoor plumbing, central heat and air, and all of the comforts of life as we know it, but there are ways to provide these services without being dependent of city power lines and water pipes. Wouldn't that be awesome?
Obviously, homesteading is not for everyone. It is something that would take a tremendous amount of time and effort to make it work. Not everyone would like being away from people, or using well water, or growing gardens and animals, or preserving harvests. It would be really great if we could try it out before we committed to it. Try before you buy! Kind of like test-driving a lifestyle. But I feel confident that it would be a good fit for me. What's a good fit for you?
A few Internet references, if you are interested:
Mother Earth News
Always remember the Boy Scout motto (even if you never were one): Be prepared.
There are many verses about work and toil in the Bible. Col 3:23-26 says," Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality." A more severe blow was given to us during the fall in the Garden of Eden: "To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:17-19). Bummer! We are destined to work and sweat and labor for our livelihood. Sure seems like we should find something tolerably toilable!