FEATURE: A beacon in the fog
Have been chatting via email with a City Hippy collective member based in Northern England...we are truly everywhere! ;)
This is his story...his is a sadly all to familiar tale of personal mental and physical pain, of inner city life, of anguish and unfulfillment in modern materialist society but ultimately of a triumphant greener path being traveled to a happier place.
This just demonstrates that we can all make positive changes regardless of who we are, where we are or what we do or do not have.
Well done mate...keep blazing that trail for the rest of us to follow!
And as for the City Hippy mention in his story...well it is always nice to know we are appreciated.
Incidentally...talking about mentions...we were recently featured on the AOL LIVE WEB BLOG - very chuffed about that.
So without further ado...here is Jim's (name changed) extremely inspiring and touching tale:
Having just missed the original 'hippy' summer of '66 and coming from a family with a military heritage I joined the Army...22 years later I left!
I became involved in running my own light transport business and as you can imagine this left little time for anything else in my life. Eventually ill health forced a major rethink and in 2003 a book given by a friend was to change my life for the good.
The book was the late John Seymours' 'New Complete Self-Sufficiency : The Classic Guide for Realists and Dreamers'!
Reading the book and discovering Path to freedom.com caused me to look at my core values and more importantly to re-evaluate what I was doing with my life and where I wanted to go.
Having been married twice (both ended in sadness) I had only myself to answer to and so with plenty of inspiration and working at a slow pace I began to alter 'my footprint'.
Another site, this time based in the UK, also gave me ideas applicable to our ever changing climate, A country life.com along with Path to freedom.com has given and continues to give me 'workable inspiration' on a daily basis.
City Hippy was/is the icing on my personal cake. I bought energy saving light bulbs, did away with the central heating and installed a wood burner, planted veggies in raised beds and practiced the three R's: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle.
I now have 6 black rock rescue hens, about to take delivery of 2 rescue ducks, been given a modest greenhouse, the possibilities are endless!
With regard to my illness, I have M.E., some days are ok, some good and some not good, but learning to live at a slower pace and 'think' green about everything is a better life than I had before I became ill.
Permaculture has helped me a great deal as to maximum yield from the space you already have without using chemicals, working with the earth, not against it.
Another small book with BIG ideas is
'The Edible Container Garden : Growing Fresh Food in Small Spaces' by Michael Guerra. I also subscribe to Permaculture Magazine.
There is a long way ahead on my path left to travel, what enthuses me is the fact that I am not 'alone'...
Living in the city is every excuse to make a difference in your life today!
Namaste Jim...good luck for the future and thanks so much for sharing your story with us...we are sure it will help inspire others to tread a similar path.
By the way the above image is borrowed from the John T. Lyle Center For Regenerative Studies website - we hope they do not mind - looks like such a nice garden