A one-room cabin off the grid and beyond the American dream – by William Powers
“Walden for the global warming era -- A memoire of what can be gained by going without”
I recently read this book Twelve by Twelve. The title interested me right away with my interest in living a more sustainable life. How does an individual live in a one-room cabin, off the grid, in North America, where the seasons and weather changes from very hot in the summer to freezing/snow covered in winter ? And why would they when they could have more? A lot of people all over the world live like this and some would consider this luxury – however, in this book it was a choice.
A Successful American physican chooses to live off the grid, in a 12 x 12 cabin, without running water or electicity near a no-name creek in
-- why? She’s a tax resister. She could earn hundreds of thousands of dollars, but chooses to only earn $11,000 – so she doesn’t pay income tax. She chooses to live in a 12 x 12 one room cabin, because it doesn’t count as a house, you don’t pay property tax and don’t receive electric lines, sewage or roads from the state. North Carolina
Friends call her a wisdomkeeper – elder women who inspire us to dig more deeply into life.
She was completely engaged in permacultre, wildcrafting, activism and doctoring – contributing to a high purpose, a love for life – none of which were linked to material positions.
Some of the gains talked about in the book are, sense of community – sharing with neighbours,
a smaller footprint, learning to live in harmony with nature and each other, living lightly and artfully, gaining a deeper appreciation for the preciousness of water and the natural world. "The joy of simplifying one's material life is you don't have to work long hours to buy and maintain a bunch of stuff."
This motivating book offers penetrating insights on clues for a smaller footprint, the joy of ordinariness and a more meaningful life. It is not a “how to” kind of book – it is very thought provoking – let your imagination run wild and see how some little steps can change your footprint and meaning on life. Well worth the read.