Living a life of abundance without money. I am not ready to make any type of categorical decision, like the guy out in Utah, and vow to live without money. But for the past couple months I've been pretty much living without it and I haven't felt any lack. I mean, I am doing all the same things I would do if I had a shit load of money. If I had a few hundred thousand dollars, I would buy some rural land, basically in the type of location I'm at now. Then I would live in a tipi while I built a cabin and taught myself how to grow, hunt and gather all of my own food. So that's basically what I am doing anyway, except I don't own any of it, and I am not teaching myself everything, rather I am doing an internship. I work 20 hours a week, for room and board.
The “work” is all this cool stuff I am really interested in. I like physical outdoor type work, anyhow. The most fun job, I have ever had so far was working in the Nursery of a Garden Center.
So this is right up my alley. I do keep track of my hours though, because it is a job and not everything is pure enjoyment. Like for example edging and weeding is not my favorite thing. But so far I have been building a lot of deer fences and stone walk ways and that has been something I have really enjoyed. The time flies when I am doing that. Usually when I am building a stone walkway and then I catch my breath and wonder what time it is, its usually 4 hours already and it blew by. Conversely its amazing how much weeding and edging I can cram into 4 hours!
But I am becoming more Zen, I think, and becoming more at one with the present moment, so that nothing really sucks. Everything seems to have its own magic and purpose. I've always liked physical work because I feel like I am getting in shape. I think of it like doing exercise or a sport. I've always admired people with strong bodies from doing physical labor rather than from just working out in a gym. Gardening is the kind of work that makes my back and forearms strong, my hands are getting stronger too. Of course I can't guarantee any results for others. Gardeing is not really a macho thing. Star, my mentor, is a 68 year old woman and there is nothing I can do that she can't do. I can pull larger stumps out of the ground maybe but that's not really a major part of the job.
Still, though, it feels really good to go to bed tired everyday.
I learn many new things everyday. Its a lot to absorb, because Star basically knows the latin name for every single plant or weed on her property. Everything she looks at she basically knows what it is. If she doesn't know right off, she becomes fascinated and consults four or five field guides until she solves the mystery.
She identifies all these weeds for me as they are sprouting and don't look like anything yet to me. She knows what type of roots they have and how fast they grow and weather or not they will interfere with whatever we are planting in that spot. Often she tells me to leave them. Many are very beneficial, like pigweed and dandelions, which we eat a lot of.
Probably Field guides is another thing I would buy with money. But I can read hers any time I want and she has plenty of them. She consults them constantly. She is always identifying something. She has new one on insect sign that is really cool. Insects leave all these signs of their presence.
So I am getting in shape, spending time outdoors, connecting with nature, learning about plants and animals, eating delicious organic food everyday, building fences, learning how to grow all my own food and building a tipi. Basically at this present moment I don't want anything else at all.
My sneakers are wearing out. So may have to buy a new pair of those.
Eventually I want to tan a deer hide from a road killed deer and make moccosins. But for the time being I decided to take a walk barefoot. The experience was delicious. I took a walk just as it was getting dark after a cool rain. The path in the woods was wet and clean. I felt like I could taste the clean water through my feet. There were all these beautiful new ferns sprouting, one species, I recently learned is called an “interrupted fern” buts also many many different species of them and frogs hopping all around. I caught one frog beside the path and it was pretty big and dark brown almost black in the twilight. It was a wood frog, I identified it from the barely perceptible dark patches on the sides of its head, that usually look much more noticeable. But these frogs can vary their color and this one had made its whole body as dark as those two patches.
These woods aren't mine, but I don't see how much more I could possibly enjoy them if they were. All I can experience of them is contained in the present moment walking there barfoot after the rain, feeling the forest with my feet. There is no way to buy that moment even if I had a hundred billion dollars.