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Next to my yard there is forest. Today after my morning coffee I went to pick some blueberries for breakfast. After a short while I saw that my sheep followed me into the woods. The sheep ate leaves of rowan saplings, I gathered blueberries. I knew that my friends are coming for a visit, and I thought that when they come I'll be notified by my dog barking.

It feels good to be connected to nature in my plain ordinary daily life. The dog depends of me feeding her - for half of the year she gets homegrown sheep meat. In the winter the sheep depend on me giving them hay, but in the summertime they are able to live on foraging. I'm pretty much like the rest of the animals, nothing but a part of the food chain. Nature provides me with oxygen to breathe, food to eat, firewood to burn, and raw materials to utilize. Without that I'll drop dead - still it seems as if this simple fact is overlooked by some big companies or politicians. They are just running for short-term financial profit, risking to ruin the planet in the process.

When I was studuing at the University one of my fellow studenst, who was a hard line environmentalist, said: "We are going to lose this battle, but for sure we will fight 'till the very end." On a theoretical level I understood his point of view, but I never felt like that myself. Instead of fighting I chose to seek for a place in the countryside. Being able to grow and to forage for at least a part of my own food has a comforting effect on me. Yes, the situation of mankind looks pretty desperate, but I feel that being desperate won't much of help. I prefer to try to stay calm, take care of myself and do my own tiny part in promoting a loving and caring attitude. Because, in the end, it is as simple as that. If people were friends with the Earth, animals, themselves and others, then we won't need to fight for world peace or for protecting nature. Friendship; being connected with each other.

When I was kid, I felt that in our family nobody was really emotionally connected. I mean; if I expressed my inner emotions or own thoughts, most of the time my parents got angry at me, and my older brother was bullying me because my ideas were stupid. So I learned to hide my inner self, feeling totally disconnected and alienated. Not to mention that there was also a good dose of physical violence, more that once I got nearly killed. That kind of experiences built anxiety into my personality, finally leading to heavy depression. I guess that some people tend to seek for comfort from their past memories - how it was cozy and safe to be kid loved by parents; that kind of memories help to get over from hardships of adult life. As I can't do that, I look further back in the line of evolution, going back to the "memories" of how it feels to be a primitive man; sniffing the air, picking berries with my fingers, living together with the other animals. It makes me feel that life is good, it is safe and nice to be alive. And that is is not only possible, but also easy and joyfull to be connected to the others.

With these thoughts I returned to my yard and mounted my horse. I sat on horseback, feeling the sun shining on us. I closed my eyes and concentrated of feeling my own breath, the horse breathing, and we just being there with no hurry. After a while I saw my friends arriving, so I jumped down and went to greet them.

picking blueberries
picking blueberries
sheep in the woods
sheep in the woods
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I will soon be doing something similar. Within 2 months I'll be moving south to the country to try and farm a bit and live a sustainable life. Not totally independent but I aim to grow many of my own foodstuffs and only buy what I can't produce locally. Your Blog is a real inspiration to give me the belief that I can succeed in my endeavour despite what others may say.

Good luck! I bet farming is a bit different down there =) Yeah, going totally independent might out of reach. Usually it is so that one needs money to pay for the house and land - I have a small loan from a bank. So I need to do some work to earn money - and to do work I need a car, and to maintain a car I need more money... So it becomes a question of balancing "working for money" and "working to produce food for my own needs". I think that at the moment I'm about the average level of people living in the Finnish countryside. I'm happy with that, and aim to go more self-sufficient and less money-dependent slowly, year by year.


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