“I went to the woods because I wanted to live life deliberately.”
Henry David Thoreau
I think the first, most essential thing one must do to accomplish that is to build one’s own house as Thoreau did. He built from leftover scraps of an old shanty. We have many other choices.
The mere fact that when people come to the Village, they can’t buy a finished home means that every one of us shares that journey. The journey enriches each of us individually and collectively, as a community. One’s home is the ultimate expression of self, one’s capacity to dream and do. Even if you hire a contractor and never lift a hammer, you will learn, mostly about yourself. So many choices, it can be overwhelming. In the process, you are forced to come to terms with your personal values. There is no faking it.
What is really important to me?
- How big should my house be?
- How much of my life, in the form of money that I have exchanged my time and effort for, should go into this house?
- What portion should I allocate for other things that are important to me and my goals?
- In my house, do I want to emphasize efficiency and low maintenance or esthetic beauty? What do those things mean to me? Can I have both?
- Do I want my home to make a statement about me or is it enough that it satisfies just me?
- If I am taking this journey with a spouse and children, how will we use this experience to bring us closer as we discover and satisfy what is uniquely us?
- What can or should I do without to have the things I really want?
- My home will be a refuge, but from what? From the noise of the city, or from the discomforts of nature?
The folks in this video made some highly unusual choices in an environment most people would consider extreme. Yet, their home is a creative expression of who they are and how they choose to live. And it is beautiful.
As you watch this video, notice the many trade-offs they made. I like to think “sacrifice” is what you give up to get something better. A deliberate life is one of conscious choice. If one knows oneself and chooses well, a personal paradise is the reward. That personal paradise is within reach of us all, but we must choose.
For those who love nature and the joy of sharing with others, the Village on Sewanee Creek has all the necessary elements to build your dream with a little help from some friends.