Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Teepee Moon

Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away....
no wait, that's another story....
Not quite twenty years ago, my husband and I sold everything we owned, which wasn't much, and went on a walk-about in Europe/UK for four months. (I had a 6-week nursing liason job with an American group in Austria which helped things). With our rucksacks and euro-rail tickets, we visited family, made some friends and had fun learning of history, architecture, other cultures, and smatterings of languages.
After returning to the States, we homesteaded with friends on their property in the foothills of the Angeles Crest mountains. We became 'dirt poor' as a temporary sacrifice for an incredible overseas adventure. No electricity or running water, an outhouse for the necessaries, and either a propane camping stove or an 1880's small cast iron stove for cooking. Bathing was either from a solar shower or the old fashioned tub next to the old iron stove which was quite invigorating considering there was snow on the ground outside of our Teepee.
Yes, a real Lakota style teepee. I don't have any photos of ours handy to scan and post, but this photo is pretty close. Our wonderfully eccentric at times rockclimbing/artist friend (SteveN art link) said we could camp with his family on their property, but we had to live in a teepee for the esthetic value(versus a tent). Well, I suppose you could lump us in there with 'eccentric' rockclimber people, as well, which is why we said, 'no problem'. :)
....During this time, we researched the customs and culture of the Lakotas and other Native Americans and found their cultures to be fascinating! This was a very interesting time for us, and to be honest, I miss the simplicity and the freedom of it.
I suppose I'm reminiscent due to the recent fires in Southern California, which proves in an instant all can be taken from us. One fire was about 20 miles away from our home, and thankfully was heading away, or it would have been a crazy state of affairs trying to evac horses and other animals.
I'm not going to get mushy and pontificate about valueing your friends, family, etc,.....most of us know that it's the right thing to do, so....just do it...Pay it Forward!!! :)
"It is not life and wealth and power that enslave men, but the cleaving to life and wealth and power."
"Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own thoughts, unguarded. But once mastered, no one can help you as much."
-Siddhartha Gautama


Alison said...

Just leaving everything behind and heading out onto a great adventure together is the kind of thing that a lot of people yearn for.

Its so easy to get bogged down in the routine day to day life - but we can all dream a little dream :))

His Girl Friday said...

That is so what I've been missing lately!! It just seems a season for slugging it out in the trenches!! :/ Life was hard, in its own way, homesteading; with that and Europe, this time was a little over a year....but honestly, it was a very free time...of course this was before kids :)

I think mini holidays are the key to sanity, at the moment!! ;)

Fuchsia Girl said...

Loved the photo and your story. Hope all has settled down now and the stress levels are back to being manageable.

My grandma always told me that as long as you have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, a bed to sleep in and food in your belly what more do you need? And she's right - it is the small things that matter plus the love and support of your family.

Times of crisis are always moments of reflection; my own personal experiences throughout life have always taught me that if you put your trust in the universe your needs are always met.

storyteller said...

For the past 7 years since retiring, I've found myself choosing to simplify my life. Letting go can be challenging, but the journey is worth taking.

Watching those fires burn so close by and realizing how quickly things can disappear from our lives (not to mention how many need so much right now) has led me to attack my closets with renewed vigor and drop things off at the local Red Cross facility.

Thanks for sharing your story. If I lived in a teepee (instead of this 2000 sq ft house near the ocean) I'd HAVE to get rid of lots more stuph. :)