It's the ultimate dream - move to the country, keep a few animals and live closer to nature. There is nothing wrong with having a dream, it's just a little different when you have to actually live it! That's when you learn all the details you never knew existed before.
Enter our five acres we've affectionately dubbed, Gully Grove. This was our dream we chose to pursue, and it has given us so many opportunities we wouldn't have experienced in suburbia. But we did have to move further away from essential services, like hospitals, dentists and mechanics. It's manageable for us while we have our health, but it would be a different matter if one of us got seriously ill or needed a lot of specialist treatment.
I've been noticing a trend in many of the blogs and websites I read, which espouse a more simplified approach to living and ways to go about it. Very little is written from the perspective of those with health challenges or outright physical disabilities. And why would you write about it, if disability isn't something which has touched your life?
Wall building ~ 2008
One particular blog I read occasionally though, announced they were starting to write a book about a future with little of today's luxuries - they wrote things like medicine will become less available, but not to panic as there are ways of coping. As someone who requires daily artificial insulin, in order to live, I thought that statement about medicine a little naive. It does become a big deal when its not optional. It's not something you can address with finding substitutes in nature, making by hand or simply learning to do without.
I started to contemplate much of the thought-provoking material I like to read on a regular basis, and it suddenly dawned on me, how much of it presumes you are able-bodied. While I have my health, I can be empowered by reading such material. I can go about my property, digging swales, planting edibles and providing a more simple life for our family. What happens if you're not able bodied though?
I guess I'm wondering where the living simply material is, for those with health challenges? Or indeed, where is the material for anyone who has come a cropper with their life circumstances, which forces them to deviate from living simply.
Earthworks by hand
My reality on our five acres, is that it's a lot of hard work. I like the work, as it suits my driven nature. But given a different set of circumstances which didn't allow me to negotiate those available options today, what would I do in that diminished capacity? I would want to do something of equal merit, even if it did look enormously different!
If you know of any such material out there, please point me to it. I would love to read about a simple living future, where we include those with disabilities and diminished capacities. How will they participate in a diminished energy future?