The Compound


I could totally live in a Hobbit house.

With all the crazy happening in our world the three of us in our little home have a dream. We want to build a home in the mountains and have it be completely self sustainable. We all kind just want to drop out of society altogether and ‘live off the land’ so to speak. We don’t want to have to use municipal services, tie into the electricity grid, or trust anyone with our water supply but the hole we dig to create our own well. We want to grow our own food and raise our own animals. I think lots of people entertain this dream – but we are dead serious and are working toward making it a reality.

I know that personally, I have grown tired of leaving the house. We refer to our house now as “The Compound” because we put up a nice fence a few years ago – and it’s kind of industrial looking. We feel nice and safe within our fence and anytime we leave the house – we are all just excited to get back to the Compound; especially if we have to travel into the city (Philadelphia). We all agree that our city is a cesspool of violence and trash, but in our compound the grass is cut, vegetables are growing, the dogs are happy, and we don’t have to deal with anyone. Our home really is our oasis.

I think it’s funny how my desires and dreams have changed as I have gotten older. I used to want a good job, travel, to be surrounded by friends and family, and maybe even a little public success (like being a published author). Now, I just want to be happy and none of the things on that previous list will get me there. I have also determined that my trust in the world has completely eroded to the point where I want to rely solely on myself rather than wait for someone to hire me or measure my life by some arbitrary benchmark or the amount of money in my bank account.

Some will say that I am just frustrated right now and they would be right. I can’t seem to get ahead (or even) playing by the rules – so I want to at least maintain some happiness regardless of outside forces trying to make me miserable. I would much rather barter or trade for my needs then have everything rely on a credit score or cash. For instance, in exchange for therapy, I would like to organize my therapist’s office. I’ll fix your files, you help me with my emotions. It’s a good trade. However – our society has set things up so that we can no longer trade and barter for services – but that is what used to make society a community. We used to be somewhat responsible for one another. The almighty dollar has separated us from each other and it isn’t just the wealthy versus the poor.

Now I have always had a desire to have a farm or a mountain home. I have always wanted to drop out of society – and I almost did once. I joined the active duty Army instead though… but I am at this place again in my life and the message that keeps coming back is to just do it. I have always had a certain envy of the Amish. I want to live like them (without the religious bits) – but their community and resolve to be self sustained and the fact that they have done this successfully is something I admire and have always wanted to do.

The fact that our political climate is so screwed up right now – and I don’t see it getting better anytime soon without a full scale collapse also contributes to my desire to just leave it all behind. No matter who is in charge of our country – my life won’t change unless I do something on my own to change it. I can’t wait for the right President or the right congress to ensure my survival – they aren’t there for me. I have to take control, and the only way that I can see doing that is to cut off my dependence on our current system. If I don’t depend on it – it can’t effect me negatively. I can control what I allow and what I don’t and that is what I want. I want simple but hard. I want to build a fence by hand and know that I have done it. I want to grow my own food and know what I am eating. I want to learn how to make cheese and butter. I seriously want a Little House on the Prairie. I want to live in such a way that if the stock market collapses, I won’t be harmed. It is almost as though the only way I see to attain self preservation is to ditch everything that takes that control from me. I don’t think I am one of those people who are meant to survive in this rat race and I have always had a severe disconnect from what society says I should do and what I want or feel I need to do.

I don’t want to be an unemployed bum, I want to work hard to provide for myself and my family – but I would much rather do that hard work that directly benefits us instead of a giant corporation or political agenda. I am tired of my sweat and tears benefiting those who have no desire to reciprocate. For convenience  we have forgotten that nature provides for us everything we need to survive – it is hard work to do it though. So much easier to go to the store and pay for vegetables then it is to wait for them to grow and depending on the seasons and climate rather then chemicals and importation to ensure we have fresh tomatoes all year round.  I don’t know, I feel I am doing at least in some small way the beginning of this process by using my backyard as a ‘testing facility’  I am going to learn how to do something on a small scale, that I could eventually do on a larger scale (if I have a larger property). Instead of a small garden, I want a farm. I want room for a greenhouse and a root cellar.

All through human history people have survived by leaving society; even Jesus took off for a while to get his mind and priorities straight in a complex and corrupt society – and they killed him for it when he tied to share those values with others. I will learn from Jesus  and leave society for a bit – but I sure won’t come back and try to make people see the err of their ways. Civilization always follows a pattern, and here in the U.S. I see that pattern doing what so many others have done – we are in for a major meltdown. We are due for collapse. I don’t want to be a part of that – however I would love to be a part of rebuilding that. When we have our mountain home and are too old to tend to it – we can take in people who are younger and stronger to help with the chores – and pay them in food and housing on the land. They may not get a paycheck – but they will have their needs met. Right now too many people can’t meet their needs – but I think we focus too much on the wrong needs.  Right now I can’t meet my financial obligations – and as frustrating as that is – I really don’t want any financial obligations. I want to give up credit altogether. It is form of control and is created and run in such a way that the help it used to provide (allowing a tab at the local store) is no longer a viable option for businesses to engage in.

I don’t know. I just think if I am going to have a hard life – I want that to be hard because everything I do benefits either myself, my family or my community and planet. Right now it is hard simply because I don’t fit into the mold society has said I need to fit into (I never have). THAT is something I can change and it is something I want to change.

Have you ever had to desire to just start over? To change the rules? Do you fantasize about changing the way you live and relate to the world in a drastic way?  What is your ‘start over’ dream?



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