This goal is funny to me, because at least three other people have signed up for it, but nobody has ever written an entry about it until now. I wonder why people make goal titles, and never make entries for them? People are so strange.
Anyway, to me “living like a pioneer” has many meanings. I want to get away from reliance on most modern conveniences. I don’t say I’ll actually go off-grid, but it would be nice to know I could if I had to, and I’d still get along. Also, to me it means living with a sense of adventure, courage, toughness, and willingness to meet challenges and blaze new trails.
I don’t want to get bogged down in the slough of guilt that awaits even the most casual glance at the heinous treatment of American native tribes by the white man’s government and people. I am very sorry those atrocities happened, and it is a cultural shame I can never correct. But since I cannot alter the past or correct its injustices by feeling guilty about it, the best I can think to do is admit it was horrendous and go on with the world I live in now, trying to live the best I can and not be the cause of anyone’s suffering again.
That being said, there are a lot of old technologies and wisdom which I would like to be able to revive. I’m already learning old skills like baking bread, pressure canning, wearing an apron, washing without shampoo, and putting my hair in a bun. Okay, maybe those aren’t exactly all “pioneer skills”, but to me they feel that way.
Someday I want to build and live in my own cabin. It may have one to four rooms. It might have access to one electrical outlet for emergencies, but I’d want to do all my normal living stuff without relying on it if possible. Washing clothes I can see would be a major issue, and require a serious re-think of what laundry is all about.
I want to have a kitchen garden where I grow all the vegetables I need, and medicinal herbs. Also I’d keep useful animals for meat, milk, eggs, protection, and getting work done. I might even want to grow wool, spin it, dye it, and weave fabric. I know I do want to be able to at least sew my own clothes. I already know quite well how to hand-stitch a seam with tiny, even stitches.
I want to live in the cycles of nature, being a part of the natural world instead of living with no knowledge of summer or winter. I want to celebrate each changing season with its own unique purposes, from spring planting and birth through summer and fall abundance, putting up food and fuel to last through the long cold winter. I’d like to be able to rely on my own resources year-round.
I’d like to practically eliminate garbage. I’d like practically everything I own to come in a form that produces no waste, but can be re-used indefinitely or composted. That means no styrofoam, no plastics, and precious little glass or metal.
I don’t imagine that by living this way I can change the way of the world. I know how things are, and I do enjoy the conveniences of modern life. I would probably always want to keep in touch with a modern home somewhere that I could use in emergencies. I’m not such a fanatic that I’d like to die for my dream.
With sadness I must confess that I privately believe there really is nothing any of us can really do to evade the downfall of civilization as we know it. Unsustainable means it cannot go on like this. Not that it should not, but cannot. The world will simply run out of resources, or be polluted or overcrowded into oblivion. I don’t see this as something we can avoid, or even likely delay. It’s coming. It’s just a matter of how many years we have left. Several decades, probably. I may very well see the end of my own life in comfort. I doubt a full century, though. I doubt my grandchildren will grow old with the same luxuries I do.
Whether mankind or any other living thing larger than bacteria will exist after that time will depend on whether we die from nuclear holocaust or simple exhaustion. Anyway, when thinking this way it pays to be nihilistic. We’re all going to die someday. It’s just a matter of living the life we want until then.
I think I’d just enjoy living a life of sustainability, whether or not I get vaporized at the end of it. To me, that is a life I would find purpose and honor in. If my great-great-grandchildren survive, it will make an interesting family history for them because surely I’ll write all about it, and possibly they’ll benefit from their inheritance of hand tools and acreage. If not, oh well. Nobody can predict the future. 2 years ago