There is the assumption that we off-the-gridders suffer from greater hardship and inconvenience than do our comforted and comfited urban counterparts. And, in some ways it is true. But not in many others.
The new bridge in Vancouver is closed due to weather. The ferries have stopped running. So has much of Transit. As many as 60,00 people are without power in the southern part of the province. The homeless shelters are full and the streets are in gridlock. We don’t have any of that.
Yes, the weather outside was spiteful (but the fire inside was delightful). We are facing the same storm. But Sal and I are good. Lights are fine – because we make ’em fine. Heat is good because we make the heat. Traffic is endurable ’cause there isn’t any and we are snug.
Yes, I know that a large part of that snugness and smugness is due to our NOT having to go to town to work. I know that. I am very thankful for that.
But I guess we are still somewhat smug. And I don’t mean to be – at least not obnoxiously so. I just mean to point out that convenience and modernity are not without vulnerabilities and worse, those vulnerabilities seem to be showing up with increasing regularity. Frankly, hardship, weather-related disasters, population-related problems, infrastructure failures, institutional impotence and government incompetence are seemingly becoming the norm from where I sit.
26 people were shot to death at an elementary school the other day. And this is just the latest incident of such similar horrors we have come to know over the years.
I am thankful I am not in traffic. I am doubly thankful I am not in traffic confined in a mass transit rolling cocoon. I am triply thankful I am not reliant on public utilities. In fact, I am ecstatic to be the hell away from that rolling disaster-waiting-to-happen we call modern living. Basically, I am saying that I am thankful not to be as dependent on others as are people in the city. In this instance, independence is the true convenience.
Our power will go out. Our outboard will pack it in. Our water may freeze up. We will have challenges. But we will also have the choice if not the obligation to go fix it. We won’t sit and wait. We do not have to wait on BC Hydro, BC Transit, BC Ferries or BC Anything. We may get as miserable as the homeless on some nasty, short, brutish occasion but, with our neighbours and ourselves, we will make relatively short work of it. I am more ‘comfortable’ even in the uncomfortable times than I would be if I were trapped and reliant on strangers in the city.
Honestly…….it is actually more convenient to live off the grid in many, many ways.