It was nice to be among people for awhile yesterday. I am not the only one who lives “Out” as they like to call us, those who come in periodically and stock up on supplies, to disappear again for days or weeks at a time. I appreciate that I am not technically a hermit, but it is the closest description I can come up with. Or at least the most succinct. “Tired of the bullshit social and economic system forced upon us daily and would really prefer the company of nature” is a little verbose.
Kaiju is great, and I can always blow Chet back up, and I love my books and hobbies and daily survival chores. But I miss having a partner in crime. A best friend. I realized this after being single for a number of years. It’s not a husband, or a roommate, or a lover that I miss the most. It is the best friend who listens to whatever has me wound up on a given day; who brings me a Blizzard from Dairy Queen when I’m having a bad day; who will drop everything to go shopping or skating or on a road trip with me from time to time. My husbands were both my best friends. I have left other best friends behind. I lost one to growing apart; another to envy and betrayal; another to an ill-conceived love affair; and another is too far away, although always close in my heart.
This is one of my reasons for living Out. It is easier to be without a companion because of geography than scarcity. It’s like being in Baskin Robbins without a single flavor you would eat, or simply choosing to be away from it all so that ice cream is not even an option. So I create my own little universe here, on a 2 acre plot in the Rocky Mountains. Sometimes I dream of the impossible. But for the most part I try to remain in the present, and appreciate what I do have around me.
So today, I will appreciate my dog, and my surroundings, and the soothing aspects of solitude. And consider creating an imaginary best friend. I never had one as a kid, so maybe it’s time. And I wouldn’t be the first person to create an imaginary friend, whether due to geography or scarcity, right?
Today is quiet. Too quiet. I wonder if I should head into town today. It is sunny but cool as spring days can be. I could check on the bees or work on the henhouse but I feel more like going to sit at a coffee shop and letting the idle chatter of other humans wash over me so that I feel like part of their tribe. It would be nice to have a neighbor. Someone close, but not too close. I could drive over and lean on the fence as we commiserate about the weather, what we will be planting, maybe even what we are reading. Chet doesn’t really have strong views on any of these things. Or at least he doesn’t verbalize them.
What to do. It’s only been five days without human contact. I don’t even like most people. Why do I miss them? A person can be lonely in a room full of people, or solitary but not lonely. I’m here because I was lonely surrounded by people. Maybe I will stick it out alone today. See how I feel tomorrow. I can always immerse myself in a book. Perhaps something whimsical and fun like Nietzsche or Tolstoy. Or make something out of one of the tree stumps we pulled out of the cabin footprint.
It’s raining today. I have a lot of things I can do inside. It’s weird. I actually feel more like going out and playing in the rain than I would if I were still in the city. It is so pretty, and I love the sound of the rain on the roof. Maybe I’ll hike down to the river and just sit and watch the circles form and expand on the water.
The dog didn’t want to come. He’s more of a cat than a dog. He won’t even get his paws wet, unless it’s in snow.
It’s beautiful out here. I love the silence. It isn’t real silence. At first you think it’s quiet. But then you notice the soft clatter of the raindrops on the undergrowth. And then it’s the sound of the grass scratching against your jeans. And the squish of the grass under your shoes as you walk. Then there is a bird chirping. But only one, because it’s raining, and they go somewhere when rains.
The burble and hum of the river reaches my ears when it is still out of sight through the trees. I slow down as I begin to take measured steps down the wet path, so that I don’t slip. Now the swish of tree branches add to the “silence.” I laugh because it’s not silent at all. It is the kind of silence I love. Full, and enveloping.
I wonder when I’m going to start talking to myself. Oh wait, I’ve always talked to myself. Ok, I guess when am I going to start answering? Nope, that ship has sailed as well. When will I start talking to a volleyball? Maybe that’s the line. We’ll see.
It’s going to be hard when it’s winter and I really feel isolated, not just by geography and social withdrawal, but by the sheer difficulty of getting to people if I want to. If I need to. I suppose it’s good that I started this in the spring. Winter is still a long way away. It will be wise to plan for that, I suppose. Snowmobile maybe? I hate those things, but as practical necessity I might be able to justify it. Snowshoes, I suppose. And skis. Could I skate down the river once it freezes? I don’t think it will freeze, though. It doesn’t get quite that cold here.
What to do today. I think I’ll hike up the mountainside and gather some herbs and berries. There are alot of bears around, I should bring bells and bearspray. That’s the problem with gathering berries. I might as well be Yogi Bear raiding the beehive. Oh well. Herbs then. But first, I will make coffee and enjoy it on the porch.