"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately,
to front only the essential facts of life,
and see if I could not learn what it had to teach,
and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear;
nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary.
I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life,
to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life,
to cut a broad swath and shave close,
to drive life into a corner,
and reduce it to its lowest terms." Thoreau
A sustainable, off-the-grid community in the middle of the Redwoods of Northern California brought me face-to-face with Dan, the mastermind behind these brilliant structures. Within the first few minutes of speaking to my host, Dan dove into quoting Henry David Thoreau's brilliant poem from "Walden: Or Life in the Woods" (one of my favorites of his writings) .
I wanted to share this collection of photos with you because after walking around in this space I was struck with how every inch of this property was Dan's work of art...down to the compost toilet! His passion and his drive to make a difference in this world was definitely inspiring (although a bit too over passionate after asking me to stay for 10 years and help him finish building!).
Anyway, the best part of the night was the community kitchen, where I met a couple from South Africa, a couple from Portland, a couple from Oceanside, and two college guys from San Fransosco. By the time the sun set, all nine of us were sharing wine, cooking dinner, laughing, and learning with each other.
It it was one of those nights that felt like I was living in a dream. How did I get here? How is it that all of us somehow ended up in this hand-built log kitchen, in the middle of the redwoods, at the exact same time?
After a late night of wine and laughter with strangers, I walked back to my cabin, called "The Half-Moon Cabin". I inhaled deeply, smelling the sweetness of pine and dirt, and looking up at the stars, thought about Thoreau's poem. "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately"...this was true of my journey as well. I set my intention to open my heart to the Redwoods, and opening the squeeky blue front door to my cabin, I realized that I was finally feeling the tickle of deep joy.