As I once heard it said by a young Irish boy, “city life is too fast for me, I’m not clever enough to keep up”. So I feel the undeniable truth that country life is the only life I want to live. Cities are more like voluntary prisons, you can always leave them, but once you are in, with your convenient routine, and your contracted existence, you start to feel trapped.
Fortunately I have native roots from the North and was born into small fishing, mining, Indian villages in Canada for the first 7 years of my youth. You know what Robert Anton Wilson said about this first ‘circuit’ of life and the imprinting stages. Anyways I diverge. Now I am staying in a small cabin in Newfoundland, so these are my cabin days, which I so cherish and need from time to time.
There is no internet, so I write my journals from home, and bike to the nearest town to get wi-fi connection via an old railway trail that runs through a broad-leaf forest, then a gorge, and over the Manuels River Hibernia, in Conception Bay. The same rail trail runs all the way to St. Johns, and back through the island to Port-aux-Basques. I have a small stack of books to keep me company if the weather is off, or later in the evenings,
and sometimes the morning, I just find it pacifying but also engaging. I’ll stoke the fire and take the cold edge off, but there is no frost or freezing temperature yet at night. There is no running water, so it is hauled here in carboys, and there is an outhouse in the woods. I have a loft, a balcony, two beds, and a porch, a small kitchen area, a bbq and always stock the mini-fridge with healthy food and stuff dragged from the sea. I like to bring in new or exotic things that I haven’t tried or don’t eat enough of like buffalo cheese, kombucha, kefir, frog legs, and chocolate. It is modest living, the routine is slow, but I find it really efficient and the solitude is abundant. Just watching the fire, sitting by the lake, listening to old music that I love, or writing. All the things one dream of. The downsides are loneliness, excessive daydreaming, and loneliness.
I have found a lot of junk just walking in the arboreal clearings, big iron machinery from the city that might be worth something, old shacks, consumerist crap, sometimes useful items, and a lot of different mushrooms. I am actually becoming a lot more ‘mushroom conscious’ lately, just keeping an eye out for them, identifying them, understanding their role, what they are eating, collecting them. The other day I found psilocybins, amanitas, and reindeer lichens, and possibly also pine boletes though I need a brush up with some of the other edibles.
My days usually go by without stress and I always make things to keep myself busy, thinking about how to fix the fishing rods so I can catch some lake fish, walking the dirt trails and being observant to what birds live around here, watch a documentary or movie now and then, listening to my favorite country music. There is also a radio, which I have checked out, and listen to the outside, what’s going on south of the border, stuff about the election, trump, or social commentary, not that it interests me much, I don’t feel part of it. I think about distant friends, future travels, and past mistakes, then try to remedy them and move forward with making things better here and now. It’s a nice diversion, however long it lasts, maybe a month, maybe until winter, not sure really. I’m wondering who will be my first company, or if I will have any life changing experiences here, and how I can be ready to integrate them in my life.
The cabin lifestyle can be challenging but I have been a man of a cabin several times before, in Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, Vancouver Island, USA and Iceland, not to mention several other semi-primitive homesteads, so I am well acquainted with the modalities, and routine. Chop wood or be cold, gather water, learn to enjoy the silence, take lots of walks to stave off the boredom, make new hobbies and generate pastimes. Just keep yourself busy, it can be kind of isolating if one is not careful. You take high regard for your health and well being when you are living like this, without the distraction and constant infringement of noise, concrete, construction, traffic, crime, and congestion of cities. My heart beats to a different beat, I feel love that is non-personal, I open myself to new things and new experiences while partaking in the tried and true, and you get a lot of time to think things over. In the meantime I am trying to get work with the local trail maintenance group for the Manuels River and East Coast trail, or on a local hobby farm.
There is no farmers market here that I know of but I have seen stalls on the roadsides of people selling some fresh produce, or home-made goods, even right on the town roads. I want to make a few connections here, and find out what’s around. I’ll make another report when things get moving.