So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
Friday, November 11, 2016
The Vagabond and the Homesteader
For me there are two ways to get to know the world. One way is to travel it. The other is to sit by the river and see what comes my way. Both methods have their charm.
I've always been interested in different people. We are born into a limited set of circumstances: a family with a certain social position, in a particular religion, and in a geographical area. That is what we we think of as normal. To others it might seem exotic, but it works both ways.
Normally this time of year I'm the traveler. Sometimes in November I'm in motion, either traveling down the road or on the water. If not actually traveling by now, I'm preparing to travel. My mind is filled with thoughts of routes, motion and equipment.
Circumstances and choice have put me in the role of the one who sits by the river. While the role is not new to me, it's been sometime since I've played it. My focus has been less on the skills of the vagabond and more on the necessities of being a homesteader. Much of my time and treasure has been spent on the mundane yet important duties necessary to thrive in a northern winter.
Old Einstein was right. It's all a matter of perspective. Is the person in the boat really rushing past the shore or does it just look that way? Could it be that the boat is standing still and the world is revolving beneath him? The end result is the same.
The worse part of being a vagabond is leaving so many people behind. Yet the very act of travel brings one into contact with new people to befriend. There's also the opportunity to reconnect with friends and family who live far away. The homesteader may have more friends and family in their daily life, but the chance to meet new people is limited. No wonder that so many cultures put great emphasis on hospitality towards the traveler. The value of differences is recognized.
There was a third path, but it's not as common in the modern world. Migratory tribes used to be common. Perhaps at one time that's how a good part of the human population lived. It has many of the advantages of the vagabond and the homesteader. There is the advantage of seeing new places and meeting new peoples. Yet at the same time one is surrounded by ones own culture and community. Unfortunately today we have the poorest expression of that dynamic: the tour group. Oh well, such is life.
There's a saying that no matter where you go, there you are. The biggest journey happens within. Whether we stay at home or travel the world, it's the backdrop to the greatest adventure.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.