Kick the autopilot out of our cockpit! If I were to summarize our aspirations as individuals and as family, it is to live with intention–to think through our actions, our words, our purchases, our food, and our learning. Seems simple, and it is really, except that there’s this cultural autopilot that values convenience and traditions that we seem to be fending off at every turn. There is an interesting example of intentional living that’s getting started near us. A new take on urban dwelling that integrates a rich connection to the natural landscape and local food production, not ideas regularly associated with urban living, while simultaneously creating a community that values diversity, human closeness, and decreased dependence on cars. Harkens back to childhood memories for many, I imagine. What I love most about this idea is that the best parts of urban and rural living are all wrapped into one. All too often I am a part of conversations centered around the choice of being a country mouse or a town mouse. The conversation usually goes something like this:
pros – space, connection to natural space, room to grow food and animals, quiet
cons – dependence on car, time spent travelling, lack of connection to people and community spaces
pros – car not so important, friends near by, interesting community resources all around
cons – lack of connection to natural space, no place to grow food and animals, less space
So many of these cons don’t have to be in this new vision of urban dwelling. We can have our cake and eat it too, after all!
A couple of other movements in the same vein that have me all giddy are urban agriculture, which can look a gajillion different ways–gardening in highway medians, abandoned building sites, rooftops, and backyards–and urban homesteading, which is exactly what it sounds like. The gist is that although folks are quick to assume that it takes acres upon acres to approach self-sufficiency, there just isn’t room for each of us to live on acres and acres. But, there is plenty of room for each of us to think about how we use the space we have productively. This idea is best enjoyed at Path to Freedom.
Some great examples of people making thoughtful choices and living with intention.