the middle way: or where finally i spill the beans

I know, I've been such a tease. I am finally able to talk about it.

It all started back here when we realized we'd found the next chapter for our lives but had very little idea how to get there. Then we've spent the last few years slowly chipping away, paying off debt, saving money, making connections, doing research. We've lived frugally, our stuff is all old and somewhat shameful. Our cars are on their last more than a decade old legs. But we did it. I won't say it didn't cost us because everything has a price but the pound of flesh in the end tastes sweet.

We are moving to a small village in the Belizean jungle this fall. As in This Fall. J has already left his job, we've just pulled M out of school. I am slowly extricating myself, a process that went public a little while ago. We are getting rid of all of our stuff. We are only bringing what we can carry. We've got a list of things we still need to acquire and a longer one of things still left to do.

We've found a little place to rent and nice people to rent it from. It's a simple house but perfect for us while we build our own home, the one we will construct out of sustainable materials, one that we will power with the sun. We are committed to lowering our carbon footprint as low as possible, we will no longer have a washing machine or a dishwasher or a toaster, we will catch rainwater and dig a well and we will grow our own food. Chickens. We'll have some chickens. Our feet will always be dirty.

We are going to do this and it's equal parts terror and joy. It will all be unknown and there will be only the tiniest safety net. We will learn how to more deeply trust each other and to listen to the earth. We will move slowly and with intent. We will make mistakes and I will most certainly find myself huddled on the jungle floor in disbelief. We might fail but we've promised to look at it as an adventure and we expect it to be hard before it gets easier.

We'll teach M that there is more to life than producing and consuming, heading to work to school then back home every single day and repeat. We'll travel cheaply for extended periods of time and homeschool her in between as she gets older, or if she wants and it makes sense she'll go to the local school. Either way she'll have a say. We'll see that she puts her hands and feet on as many different parts of the world as she can, her science projects will be in the first person, she'll learn which trees heal and which ones can make her sick.

There are a thousand things we do not know and only a handful of things we do but we know we want to do this. We want off the production and consumption treadmill. We want to teach M how to live sustainably while teaching ourselves too. We are uncomfortable living such a sanitary existance, something so incongruous with so much of the world. We want to spend more time as family exploring for the sake of seeing what we can find. I want to get involved in regional relief and development efforts and see if I can lend a hand.

We want to push ourselves in the best possible ways. Or as J likes to put it paint our own masterpiece. It's the end and it's the beginning. It will be harder than I can currently imagine and I hope to come out on the other side victorious because the journey will be the reward.

And we'll have an internet connection. Oh yes, my lovelies, I've made sure of that. You aren't getting rid of me that easily and besides, something tells me I'll be needing you more than ever. From care packages and bail money to your wise thoughts and kind understanding, promise me you'll stick with me and in exchange I can offer you your very own in-country host for your next tropical vacation, the one where you bring your babies and sit on my hammock and we toast cold beers under Central American skies.

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