There’s an old saying, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” Or something like that…
I know it’s most often used to describe some sort of love, and I suppose in my case, it’s more or less the same.
About 5 years ago I moved from Vermont to Japan. Although life in Vermont was pretty simple, it was a modern life like many other people had. I valued video games, movies, computers and the like. Once I moved to Japan, none of this really changed much.
Slowly, through my time and experiences here, I started to yearn for something. I felt like I was missing something in my life. I felt like I needed to return to something. I started to take an interest in brewing beer, no doubt a rather traditional hobby there. Then this spread to baking bread. From baking bread it spread to baking whole grain breads and a desire to mill my own flour. Then it grew into the desire to garden and grow my own foods, hunt for my own meats and lead a more self sufficient life.
I’m by no means a hippy. I don’t necessarily value whether something is organic or free range. I don’t have any political or philosophical beliefs about any of this.
I just discovered some of the most rewarding things in life are some of the most simple things.
For various reasons, we are moving back to Vermont next year (April to be exact). Although it won’t be sudden, I hope to slowly build a life that isn’t so cluttered with all our modern marvels. I still appreciate the internet, technology and the likes. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to get the stuff I need – grains, bows, flour mills and such – without difficulty. Also, no one can deny that the internet is useful and cheap for keeping up with news and communicating with friends and family. There’s certainly no need to get rid of something so valuable.
Hopefully this blog will show a slow but steady progress of returning to something a little more basic while not throwing away all the modern luxuries of life staring here and Japan and progressing in Vermont.
You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. I don’t think I ever had a “simple” life, but I hope to return to it anyway.