Interesting, isn't it, how we have so easily assimilated technology into even the simplest of lives. And so it was that Sophie and Greg arrived at my door, on their bicycles, one evening recently, having contacted me via the world of bloggers. A delightful pair they are, riding around parts of Australia and then the world, gathering notes on living simply, for a future book. Visit them at simplelives.com.au
We ate from the garden, talked from the heart, told our stories and aired our thoughts about the why, how and who of trying to live simpler lives.
Greg took copious notes and asked everyone as many questions as he could think of, ending up with enough information already to write a book!
So, what are simple lives? The answer is actually very simple too; living a simple life requires you to be connected to a community so that you can share tools, seeds, "stuff" and food. It means re-humanising yourself. It means caring.... about your neighbours, your friends, your environment and your impact on all of these. It is not about being a hermit, surviving alone.
How does one begin? Most people start slowly and unintentionally..... growing a few vegetables, reading labels in the supermarket, catching a bus to work or joining a community garden, buying a magazine on sustainable home improvements or organic gardening etc etc. Very slowly the meaning of life questions you thought were going to be answered by frantically driving your children to their next activity, working late to get more money and buying new furniture or gadgets, still rear their heads and remain unanswered.
One evening, about 6 years ago, I went to a talk. I have now forgotten the topic because what happened was that, in the interval, I met people. Some of these people made me think very differently; opened my eyes to the bloody obvious..... and that was that there is a whole lot of people out there, in my city of Adelaide, who thought just like me. I realised I was no longer a hermit, growing my vegetables, NOT enrolling my children in structured activities, refusing to use chemicals in my home etc etc; I had found community.
Simple lives are just that.... plural. The hardest part of the journey is finding them. The internet is a good place to start. Make a blog. Read blogs listed in other people's side bars. Leave comments. Get connected to the online community and you will find that your neighbour may well be there too!
Good luck Sophie and Greg. Have fun. Take in the vibes.
Life is good; get there fast and then take it slow.