When I was little I loved wandering away from the house and making a little home in the woods out of branches, blankets, and whatever I could haul along in a backpack or pillow case - these are some of my favorite memories. I learned a little about the trees and plants from my parents and would gather anything I knew I could eat - bunches of dandelion, sassafras, and mulberries. I loved the feeling of having my life in my own hands - it was a thrill to imagine I had to survive on the meager offerings of the forest.
Watching my daughter make a fort with her friend the other day, I started to think about how so many of the things that bring me happiness now are not that different. I want freedom like I felt when I wandered until I found a spot that was just right and made the most of what I could find. I welcome the challenge of figuring out how much nutrition I can get from the little plot behind my house, I like the the challenge of making a small home special and brilliant and I can actually say I enjoyed all the moves to new cities, standing in an empty flat and figuring out how it could feel like home in less than eight hours. I know this connection with freedom, survival, and challenge has sculpted my life. I've given up things others have told me were important to hold on to it, and as I understand more fully what's needed from all of us, I doubt myself less everyday.
I remember reading an article with Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm He was talking about the challenges of changing farming in America and how he often hears people bragging about their son or daughter who's a lawyer, or investment banker, but has never heard someone say with pride, "My son is a farmer!"
There are people who enjoy a different path to success and what this different perspective brings, we need. Hold onto that desire to be independent you felt a child, just know that real freedom might end up looking different than they told you it would.