Three weeks just spent reconnecting with my inner feral at Yosemite’s historic Camp 4 helped me pinpoint the three most important ingredients for a happy life:
1. shelter from the storm,
2. good company,
3. quality coffee to ease the morning into its groove.
Added bonus? A down puffy jacket and hot running water. Those two factors amount to sheer luxury. But they’re not necessities.
Being on-line, wired or continuously connected to the world was not a need. In fact, disentangling myself from the interweb for three weeks, though initially disorienting, was ultimately a relief. My heartbeat slowed. My brain waves slowed. I could guess the time pretty accurately tracking the sun’s path across those bluebird California skies. I was defragging. I was becoming whole again. Grubby and a little ripe, sure. But no longer brain-scattered.
We arrived home on the weekend, primed to take up the comforts of civilisation – the cocktail ice-cubes belching forth from the refrigerator, a laundry machine to ease our transition out of Dirtbagdom, wireless spouting forth all those critical emails, facebook feeds and tweets. The supreme irony was that after 20 hours of driving, we landed home in Pemberton just in time for an all day power outage as BC Hydro undertook routine maintenance. The laundry pile steamed in the corner. The computer continued its long shut-eye. We relaxed in front of the fire as the house slowly warmed up.
“Maybe we should do this every Sunday,” said Dave. He’s no church-goer, but guy has a strong sense of the sacred – the holy awesomeness of moonrises and ski-hill alpenglow, of long bike descents and the final top-out moves onto granite monoliths with the smell of rock under your nails and one final slug of water left in your bottle…
We’d been cragging and camping for three weeks, only reading whatever newspapers we were able to pull from the dumpsters, so Dave couldn’t have known how cutting-edge he was, suggesting an e-sabbath unplug challenge. The idea of a technological sabbath is becoming a movement across the States. Our smart little techie tools were meant to make our lives easier, but increasingly people are feeling taken hostage. Strange thing is, the bust-out to freedom is as simple as turning the power off. I’m thinking about making it my Sunday thing.