Saturday, July 11, 2009

Good Life

"Perhaps the secret to the 'good life' is revealed in the Nearings' simply abundant suggestions for living less stressfully, which Helen shared in her moving memoir, Loving and Learning the Good Life:
"Do the best you can, whatever arises.
"Be at peace with yourself.
"Find a job you enjoy.
"Live in simple conditions; housing, food, clothing; get rid of clutter.
"Contact nature everyday; feel the earth under your feet.
"Take physical exercise through hard work; through gardening or walking.
"Don't worry; live one day at a time.
"Share something every day with someone else; if you live alone, write someone; give something away; help someone else somehow.
"Take time to wonder at life and the world; see some humor in life where you can.
"Observe the one life in all things.
"Be kind to the creatures."
--Simple Abundance
Scott and Helen Nearing abandoned their life in New York City in 1932 to become pioneers in the mountains of Vermont. They were determined to create a completely self-sufficient lifestyle that was solely dependent on their wits, hard work, and perserverance - all during the darkest days of the Great Depression.

Their journey included drinking only water, juices and herbal brews, consuming little more than raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and mass quantities of popcorn. They didn't use salt, sugar, tea, coffee, dairy products, or eggs. They didn't smoke or consume alcohol. Honey was only used sparingly - because it exploited the bees, and maple syrup was used and sold only when needed - because it sucked the life blood of the maple tree. They built their own stone house by hand when Helen was in her seventies and Scott was in his nineties.

Scott lived to be 100 years old, and Helen was died at 91. That's quite the life. This was their "Good Life."

I'm not sure why I am so intrigued by them today. But as I went camping last night - with all the wonderful convienences of being 10 minutes from home - I thought of them. I'm sure, despite such basic living, they had so much to be thankful for each day. Something to ponder...

Things I am thankful for today:

1. My inhaler. It's a steep climb to the campsites at our nearby State Park. Phew.
2. My hubby - so patient and kind when I'm having a rough time.
3. Campfires.
4. Smores.
5. A comfy, cozy tent - when it suddenly rains, especially!
6. Visitors to the campsite - raccoons, turkeys, deer...
7. Waking up to a beautiful sunny morning!
8. Neosporin - I slipped on some gravel going down the steep hill and scraped up my leg pretty good (I don't think I've had a scraped knee in about 10 years!).
9. Taking a nap at the pool.
10. Lots of laughs with the hubby this evening - especially leaving to go to the grocery store without shoes or his wallet. I think we need some more sleep....

1 comment:

Beth said...

I love that simplifying list. I hope your knee and leg are okay!

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