When we first moved to Darwin’s View, I wanted to save the world. I wondered, “Is there any hope?” I have learned that that is not the question we need to be asking ourselves. The real question is, “How are we, as individuals and together, going to create an adaptable, sustainable future for our planet?”
Life Off the Grid . . .
My husband and I are a modern day rendition of Lisa and Oliver Douglas of the sitcom Green Acres renown. Replace Lisa’s New York City with Providence, Rhode Island; Hootersville with Jaffrey; and Green Acres with Darwin’s View, and you have us. The difference? Carl and I live during the Anthropocene age, a human-made epoch. Thus, we named our home Darwin’s View with intention: “survival of the fittest”, “natural selection”, “evolution”.
We moved from Providence to Jaffrey in December of 2012 to live off-grid with our two cats, Nick and Nora; and Big Red and his five hens. Just for a few months, to make sure our newly built, off-grid, weekend cabin wouldn’t freeze its pipes. You might remember that winter. Blizzards-of-the-century every other day?
With nothing better to do than watch the snow fly, wonder what I was doing t/here, and read really depressing books on our species’ fallout on the world, I declared war against climate change. That conflict rapidly morphed into a two-front war against Demo-n-Capitalism. But, as winter turned to spring, summer, fall and another winter, it became clear that I wasn’t having much affect. No surprise. I had gotten distracted, busy with other things. Like how to flap one’s wings while chasing a cricket, or atrophy into corpse pose in a dusty area of the driveway. Or to plant, not bury, a seed, which requires one to give that seed a drop or two of water.
Word from the semi-wise: it is much easier to write about chickens and their life dramas, and one’s own life on a New Hampshire homestead, than about the consequences of Homo sapiens’ alienation from Mother Nature. Hate and fear, greed and selfishness? War is a symptom, not the cause. I almost lost my war against climate change and Demo-n-Capitalism because they are so unutterably depressing and overwhelming. I have learned that to survive them, we must go back to what connects us.