I did not know what to expect after leaving YH. That small cabin in the woods is the bulk of where I’ve spent my time during the day and in my dreams. We are lucky enough to have loved and lived off the grid within the boundaries of Mount Robson.
Now we find ourselves just over the ranges of the park in a beautiful and wide pasture, still off the grid, thank God. We have been living this lifestyle together (for the most part) since we met in 2018 – and I joyfully and gratefully report that for the first time, we have running water to our unit. For the first time, I can wash dishes and empty the dishes in my sinks. I can brush my teeth indoors. I can wash my face in the morning, wash my hands as much as I please without worry of using too much of our precious resource; at the cabin our water source was a 40km drive. Here, we would drive up the hill to the farm house and connect to the hose. But as of June 12 even that is No longer needed!!! From the tap, baby!!! Oh, yeah, living off the grid totally makes you stop to appreciate the smallest things in life.
Living off the grid reels you into life, head first intro glorious, euphoric presence. I’ve struggled with depression and generalized anxiety for the bulk of my 28 years, and those are shadows I still am trying to navigate – and I’ve spent many years hiding behind these shadows as excuses, staying within the boundaries of victimization/victim-hood – but that mentality and emotional extent does not fit me anymore. That frequency is the lowest on the chart – slow and dense and dark, and it was holding me back from expanding my horizons, my perspectives; my life. It was my job to challenge myself into nurturing the shadows: love it, accept it, release it. Being off the grid reels me into presence and deep meaning. Everything has meaning. Everything is done by your own head and hand. Everything I have, step by baby step as we progress, gives more meaning to my life and to the small things many don’t think twice to appreciate (like running water, a cold fridge with no food waste, pissing in a toilet instead of a bucket, a hot shower at the end of a long day or long week depending on the weather…)
No longer do I worry about the complete unnecessary, no longer does the relentless and seemingly never ending rampant internal chatter take over my mind with utter bullshit. I don’t worry about the clothes I wear, when the last time I brushed my hair, if I brushed my teeth two or three times today, if I smell like tea tree or hemp or cedar or patchouli or rose or a light combo of the bunch; no longer do I stress about work, about money, about having a degree. I do not feel the hum, the background vibration of the city life, the constant edge and shoulder shudder, the mindless loop of point a to b to work, eat, shit, sleep, and repeat. No longer worried about stepping on toes with my truth, not a care about what others may think of me (it’s not my business). I have cleared my mind of the nonessential, the dull ache, the figure-eight loop of anxiety. All that space had to be cleared to figure out how to handle living off the grid. Problems arise – its up to you to fix them. Want something done? Nothing is convenient – everything takes work, planning, and time. It makes every day full. And when you have your moments to sit in your beautiful orange chair and relax, you grow inspiration from natures organic entertainment: 30+ humming birds at your feeders. cows and alpacas and black bears and lynx and coyotes in the pasture. eagles and falcons scooping up their daily catch.
So I became addicted awfully quick. This decision changed my life. It removed me from holding myself back in fear. It gave me confidence in all that I could accomplish on my own. It brought me back to the full embrace of Gaia. It serves me and teaches me daily. It is an entirely rewarding experience.
I grew up meditating in the forest, talking to trees, confiding in the distant noises I convinced myself were guardian fae and fox. It is no question or surprise that I would end up living this kind of life. As a child, you could always find me in the dirt, mud, and fields. Not much has changed in thirty years. I have simply made the conscious decision to continue living this way.
I spend five hours a day with my hands in the dirt, maintaining the garden beds up-top. Our friend runs a U-Pick with raspberries and peas, and I’ve had the great opportunity of weeding, pruning, planting, nervously transplanting, weeding, watering, growing, weeding, and of course, weeding. I’ve been able to learn so much here that I can apply to our own farm in due time, and greatly look forward to doing so.
I was cooking for ten years before I started questioning if industrial cooking was aligned with my values. It wasn’t. After being a Sous Chef in Jasper, I took some time away from cooking to reprioritize my focus and my desires in that field. If I was going to cook, I knew that ultimately it needed to be on my own terms – mainly so that I would have full control over produce and meat supply. I wanted to know where everything came from. I wanted to see the plants I cooked from seedlings, watch them grow, and cook / serve them under my own terms. I wanted to meet the animal in certainty that it lived a life as a free animal should, before it was processed to be in my kitchen. I had to step away from cooking until I could make that happen… but I also knew that I severely lacked in food and plant knowledge. Working on the farm has served as a great bridge to that world, as has learning about yoni steaming – dependent on water and (99% of the time) herbs. I’m finally learning things from the start, which has been providing me with daily inspiration for future recipes.
So its all starting to feel full circle. I finally have time to just enjoy this routine, this chapter of my life – the sunny wide open skies of the pasture, which we share with three neighboring horses, two alpacas, and a Llama. Summit stays on guard all day, never leaving our side. We pick flowers around the pasture to make various recipes and crafts, and we pick berries along our hike root to the garden up-top in the early mornings. This is a beautiful chapter of my life in its own ways – merits, gifts, gains, challenges… just as Yellowhead was.
The point in all this from transition into transitional phase of our lives, is to simply find the beauty in it all – find the beauty in your simplicity, in the mundane. It is always there, I promise.