Indulged, this past weekend, in the now four year old tradition of renting a cabin in the woods with a dozen or so friends. The stated purpose of the weekend is to work on the arts and crafts projects that we push to the side on any particular day in our “real” lives. The subtitle might be “if we’re so successful, why don’t we live more like this?” It was invigorating and wonderful.
The structure is minimal – people respect each other’s space – but at the same time revel in being physically close to friends. Each morning, someone offers breakfast (crepes one day, omelets the next). It’s small enough to be a comfortable mix of socialist sharing with boundaries. Folks settle in and work quietly (with occasional bursts of laughter) through to the mid afternoon. At some point, the first beer of the day gets cracked – and conversation begins to spread. Eventually, people set aside their projects and jump in the pool – or pick up musical instruments. Each evening has a more structured dinner – this year mine was on Sunday. With and , I cooked a risotto, broiled fish, and kale. This had the dual purpose of emptying the winter larders of frozen fish and kale in preparation for the onslaught of this year’s CSA. Five pounds of fish per week doesn’t sound like a lot for two families, but you can’t let yourself fall behind.
There are three of us who homebrew – we had four varieties of beer, one mead, and my wine. This year saw first homemade keg of art weekend – and it is whispered that I might try distillation next year. In preparation for that, I made a 24 hour, 15% alcohol solution using “Turbo” yeast. “Turbo,” apparently involves discarding all niceties of flavor and just going balls-out. It was foul, and we dumped it out.
The talents my friends bring are amazing. My small offering was a bit of Japanese brush work.
So ask yourself – if you can imagine a better life than the one you live now – what are you doing to make that more than a dream? More than one weekend per year?
As someone or other said – it’s always a choice.