Off the grid, unplugged. (sort of)
One of the more interesting things that has come forth from the development of the agrowvillage and the test lab site, is how technology has come quite far in a short time to allow for the production of enough power for oneself, that the idea of living anywhere near grid tied applications is no longer a necessity.
I realize this is nothing new, as for thousands of years man did just fine surviving without electricity and power and If you look at power consumption around the globe per capita today, the biggest user is the USA coming in at about 25 times the global average. What one gets for this consumption level is usually a temperature & humidity controlled environment with perpetual light and electricity to run the myriad of devices that have been invented to make our lives more convenient and comfortable.
It wasn’t till I was trying to figure out how to make a mobile pineapple processing plant on lake Victoria in Uganda, that I realized how little power one actually needs to survive. To an American, it would be more like camping in the wild of nature. It is ironic, as I remember asking so many people if they wanted to go to the grand canyon with me and how many people are so lost with modern conveniences, that they forgot what being in nature is about, much less were willing to change their idea of "normal" life for a few days to see something that would blow their mind - yet, the idea of being away from creature comforts kept them back.
Someone asked me how my prayer and meditation was going lately, I spent many hours in the past 10 years trying to break off from the lunacy of stuff, to reach past and change what I had become into what I probably was simply meant to be. My comments were, “Switzerland is a very quiet country, yet, there still is so much noise on my radar that my mind has to get rid of before I can ever get to a place where I was 5 years ago.”
When I go to the united states, the noise levels are so loud, that I don’t think people are even aware of the amount of noise the iPods, and then all the wonderful mechanized tools and toys we have for work and home fill the air with noise pollution. (And probably make us fatter as a collective society because we have mastered machines to do our physical labor) What I love about Sunday here in Switzerland is that people are not out cutting lawns, using chainsaws, and other things. While it seems old fashioned, having a day of rest and spending time with family and friends just hanging out, is a something we have lost in America. I am not sure if one blames it on how many marriages fail, and why? Or that we live in so much noise that we are numb to it anymore.
Perhaps this is why I yearn for the lab in Colorado. It is a space that with the exception of a pickup truck with a bubba and no muffler trying to see how fast he can go, or someone pulling off the side of the posted land and doing what I call, “shooting evil trees” (until you see it, you won’t believe what people will shoot guns at) what is left is the wind, and the amazing harmony and rhythm of nature itself.
Usually it will take someone three days to realize they are not missing the noise of the world. After a week, your body’s physiology changes from the stress of day-to-day “modern” life, and your body starts a different circadian rhythms.
Until then, that elusive peace and stillness is available to each of us, but is sure can get difficult to reach by trying to be still in the modern world filled with noises, passions, desires and “stuff.”
That is my blabbering ramble about whatever for this day….coffee?