Simply the Best
Ever think about how much stuff you have? You know… how many books and CD's, computers and games, toys, pictures, phones, clothes, shoes, earrings, candles and backpacks there are lying around your room? In America, we tend to get caught up buying "stuff" like latest cell phone or the most fun toy, but sometimes we want all of these things without really considering why they're so important to us.
Feel like simplifying things and really getting away from it all?
Then, pack up your shingles, grab some old boards, buy 1,000 or so old bricks, and don't forget a box of nails... we're building a house in the woods - Thoreau style!
Even way back in the 19th Century, Henry David Thoreau believed that life was getting too complicated for people to recognize what was really important to them. Rather than just sitting back and wondering what life would be like without the distractions of daily life, he decided to actually live it.
With only $28 and his own handiwork, Thoreau built himself a one-room house in the woods outside Concord, MA in a lovely spot overlooking Walden Pond. Now that he didn't have to worry about other people, daily business or paying bills, this isolated spot in the woods gave him plenty of time to reflect, write and observe the natural world around him.
Henry David Thoreau spent his days in the woods proving that life could be extremely simple, and still completely fulfilling. In the two years, two months, and two days he lived in his tiny cabin, he made it a point not to know what day of the week it was, or even what month of the year it was. He let nature be his teacher, taking lessons from the change of the seasons, the habits of animals, and the calm of the pond.
Thoreau wrote his experiences into a book called Walden, in which he encourages people to do their own thing, rather than conform to the way other people expect them to live, think or act.
Hiking through Thoreau's woods on an amazingly beautiful autumn day, I sat down by Walden Pond to think about the beat I've been marching to. Those of us on the US Trek really believe in Thoreau's message, and try to live it in our daily lives and travels. We have left behind the most of the things we once felt attached to, we usually have no idea what day it is (as we have no daily or weekly routine), and we spend our time dedicated to this project that we each feel passionate about. Ah, the simplicity.
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Links to Other Dispatches
Daphne - Standing up for the Mentally Ill