I often have dreams where I need to be somewhere immediately, but I can't pack up my things fast enough to leave. No matter how many times I try to just get up and go in my dream, I always feel as if I am leaving something behind. I realize that a huge reason why I have these anxiety ridden dreams is because the lifestyle I live means I'm constantly in motion, rushing around. Living quickly is not easy on my psyche. Recently I've been forcing myself to slow down, "be deliberate with my actions!" (as my Dad always says), and ultimately make more time for myself.
We never met Allan, but when we arrived at his cabin in Vermont, Dylan noticed a passport photograph of an old man with a long white beard and long white hair tacked onto the wall. Later, our suspicions that it was the owner of the cabin were confirmed. Allan had lived there most of his life, tending to his couple-acre garden and living off the land. He collected soils from around the world to make his land as rich as possible. Eventually he wanted to try something new, so he decided to head down to the beaches of Jamaica to sell his hand-made necklaces on the beach.
His small cabin had one large room and a lofted bed. It was without any electricity or running water, which meant there was no bathroom, only an outhouse. Our source of water was groundwater we had to pump by hand. My initial instinct was to question it because it wasn't filtered, as images of collecting murky water samples and watching tiny organisms float in it during a 4th grade field-trip flashed quickly through my mind. I then reminded myself that the water we drink on a daily basis comes from the earth. I set aside my reservations and drank it. It was the best water I had ever tasted.
Our time in Allan's cabin was spent focusing on simple things. We passed the time cooking delicious food, tending to the fire, talking, listening to Django Reinhardt, and playing our own music. We walked around the trails on the property identifying animal tracks in the snow. The tiny cabin was easily heated from the wood burner within minutes, which made it cozy on the crisp winter nights. The only hiccup in our trip happened when we went on a drive to get an apple pie and then decided to see if we could cross Canadian border sans passports. Instead, we got stuck in U.S. - Canadian limbo where the U.S. border patrol decided that we might be fugitives trying to run from the law. We then spent the afternoon in jail. Only kidding, we drove away laughing, but are probably now on the government watch-list.
Everyone has different styles of living and I think that its really important for people to find the one that works best for them in order to find their own inner peace. Having sticks up your butt and working at border patrol seems like an anxious way to live. I say live like Allan, and go sell your puka shell necklaces down in the Caribbean.
If anyone wants to take a trip to Vermont, I highly suggest staying at Allan's Cabin. It was amazing, and the caretaker Kristen and her husband were lovely and helpful people.
Up Next: Costa Rica