Looking out across the Methow Valley from the front of the hut.

I spent four days last weekend unplugged, in a hut a six mile cross-country ski from the trailhead, with seven friends, no electricity, no running water, and asked myself “Why don’t I live like this all the time?”  We could get cell service in a pinch (or emergency), we had abundant firewood and a blazing fire (when we weren’t too distracted by Yahtzee or cooking for each other to tend it) and access to cross country and backcountry skiing, a master crafted sled run hand built with glee by the amazing man in my life, and conversation about life, love, work, and more.  I wished my best friends (and Maile the Great, my roommate’s dog) could have joined us, so I’m already eyeing dates for a dog-friendly hut reservation (or maybe two) for next year.

The upstairs loft of the hut we stayed in. So cozy and full of laughter.

I love the rhythm of “simple” living.  Waking with the morning, melting water for coffee and tea, slow cooking steel cut oats with hearty fixings for breakfast.  A mid-day play outside to earn our dinner, then a dinner prepared with love and delicious ingredients to rewarm and refuel the body.  Games around the picnic table at night, with a fire blazing.  Staying up past the sun, even though the natural darkness lures your body to rest.  Sleeping soundly with the quiet of the natural space you’re a temporary denizen of, and then starting the whole thing over again, with minor adjustments according to your instincts and body’s needs.

It was a much-needed break, and it’s been hard to come back to the city.  I’ve never noticed before just how loud and consistent the traffic is outside the bedroom window I sleep near most of my nights.  But luckily, today, I’m working from home, which meant working until I was inspired to write, then taking a break to make steel cut oats for breakfast while I write, and then settling in for a quiet, productive day making day job progress until evening plans to celebrate a dear friend’s birthday.  Today’s a good day.

And today also started with a little bit of inspiration from one of my dearest friends, Brendan.  Brendan’s a writer — he has a day job, too, and on the side writes for outdoor industry outlets and his own blog,  Brendan is an inspiration just by being, but sometimes certain works of his hit an extra cord.  This morning’s Semi-Rad post is called:

This is How You Build a Bike Shop:  On Love

And it’s this week’s must read.  I’m one of those people for whom work is love.  It’s a rocky relationship, sometimes, and I’ve been known to find myself off course, or going through a rocky work-divorce, and hanging on far too long to something that just will never be — and that’s life, and work, for me.  It’s emotional.  It’s personal.  It’s about relationships and aspirations and much to my sometimes-dismay not about the money since my car’s paid off, my only debt is my student loan, and all I need to thrive are my loved ones, a borrowed wi-fi connection, my laptop, a tank of gas and the camping and climbing gear that stows easily in the roof box.  Thanks, Brendan, for the reminder that work is love, for some of us — and it’s a blessing, not a curse.

One thought on “Re-entry”

  1. We can live like that 2 days a week and 3 weeks a year without a lot of effort and without abandoning city life and society (maybe some people can do that, but I can’t). But it seems for a lot of people in this culture it has to be all or nothing…

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