We’re comfortably rustic. Rustically comfortable. Meaning: we ‘work’ to get our heat (wood) in, we plumb and collect and filter our own water, we have an expanding garden and hunt for and gather sea food. We make our own electricity and we built our own home. And we do a lot of physical plain-ol’-grunt work around a huge, wild and irregular ‘yard’ almost every day. There is no pizza delivery, no quick run to the store, nobody to call for any kind of service except emergencies by way of the Coast Guard and there is very little assistance for anything – we do it ourselves.
Should be considered a hard life, eh? Should be considered ‘rough’, ‘dangerous’, ‘extreme’, ‘inconvenient’ and ‘depriving’. Right? A real adventure?
And, I suppose it is at times. It certainly was in the beginning before we learned how to do some of it better and more easily. There are still some aspects of adventure, I’ll admit that. But more than all those negative or scary adjectives there is ‘beautiful’, ‘healthy’, ‘fun’, ‘satisfying’ and ‘interesting’. It may be a smidge harder out here but it is hugely more satisfying.
Put more succinctly: I am happy and more content than I have ever been in my entire life. I love it here.
“Yeah, yeah. Read about that already. What else you got?”
China. Seven of the ten most polluted cities in the world are in China. Beijing has just gone off the pain scale pollution-wise. Literally. Their pollution scale goes to PM500 – considered so extreme at the time of instrument installation no one believed it would be possible to even live at that level. The other day the scale at the American embassy in Beijing registered 776. By contrast, New York registers 19 on average. The air in Beijing is lethal.
The Chinese government is taking action. They are keeping the school children indoors. Well, they are doing other things too, but really?! No one should be out in that poison and yet millions still are. China is gonna choke to death on that stuff. Some already are.
“So? What has that got to do with you?”
Well, I can’t honestly say that we came here to get away from Vancouver’s pollution although we did talk about it when it got bad and made little meaningless promises to leave when it got worse. But pollution is just one of the ingredients in the urban recipe for disaster that we felt was simmering under the surface. Pollution, crime, regulation, security, GMO foods, factory food, gas prices, transit, airports – you know the list. The list of personal violations, the list of government invasions, the list of social impositions and breakdowns, the restrictions, the growing and heavy presence of Big Brother and the Holding Companies, it was all becoming too omnipresent to ignore.
We thought we could see some writing on the wall. And I thought I could read ‘made in China’, too, but it wasn’t that clear at the time.
Living off-the-grid sounds a bit extreme to most of those reading this. I know that. But the encroachments on our lives by the systems that are supposed to support us are increasing while the efficacy of those same systems is breaking down. Western society is nowhere near as eroded or corrupted as is China but it is getting there. Westerners would not likely stand by while it got that bad, I am sure. I think. I hope.
But like the frog being slowly heated in the pot of water, it is often easier to stay in the water and suffer the heat than take a blind jump out to escape.
Can any of you feel the water temperature rising?