One of the benefits of minimalist living is that it strips away the value that we too often place on material goods and possessions. Often we do not even understand why we are so caught up in owning things that in end end up owning us. For anyone who has not seen it I recommend watching PBS's Scott Simon's Affluenza.
Nor did I tire of the other campers who came there.
One was a couple from Canada who brought with them a nephew and a powerful telescope and software that helped them find and zero in on planets and stars.
Another was a man fighting lung disease and breathing the clear air to get better. And he did. In just a few weeks' stay he was able to take long walks.
A third was a couple from Toronto, also in a Volkswagen, who came there "to find ourselves." They were lost, they said, in their marriage and in the world until one day they realized they could wake up "without care or worry." And so they hit the road.
And the hodge-podge gang from Brooklyn – five guys who pooled their resources and bought a beat-up RV determined to make it to San Francisco and drink beer all the way. We laughed until it got dark at night and the stars came out.
While I was travelling many asked what I was doing to fill my days. Nothing, I replied. The days fill themselves. It is remarkable how little there is that needs to be done once you let go of the internal need for doing, as if your productivity somehow mattered to the world. It doesn't.
What you get as a life-long gift, just as happened with the couple from Toronto, is your sanity back.
|A desert cactus flowers.|
You can spend an hour watching an ant or a flower or a bee, and no time is lost at all, and what is gained is greater love of life. And maybe a little more understanding too – though not in a way that can be put into words.
A park ranger told me there that there is no shortage of water even in the semi-desert. "We get the right amount of water for everything that lives here," she said. For the junipers and the piñon pines, and the desert bluebirds that feed of the juniper berries, and the bees that visit the flowers, there is enough. And for scurrying mice and the hawks overhead. It's there.
It struck me that there was a lot of wisdom in that observation, and it had more to it than just an explanation of thriving desert life.
The riches of this planet whether sparse or lush are what they are. There is enough for everything and everyone that lives on this planet if we understand and ask only what we really need.
|Colorado mountains viewed in westering sun from Monument.|