Gladly trading convenience for simplicity

It’s a different scene to encounter in the forest–20 people who usually live in the city on their knees smashing rocks.
I was on a wilderness survival weekend, and the objective of the rock exercise is to learn about how to make primitive stone tools for filleting fish and carving wood.
I can’t, however, shake what these people had to say at the campfire the night before.
“The city is sucking the life right out of me,” said one participant. Then he added jokingly, “While at the shopping mall the other day, I wanted to pull the fire alarm.”
Each person shared their sense of loss in a complicated, modern day world. Then we learned skills our ancestors practised for thousands of years.
We built shelters from sticks and ground debris, started fires without matches, created cordage from plant fibres, and learned primitive gathering, hunting, trapping, and fishing techniques.
Our instructors practise much of this basic existence in their daily lives. Need a fire? Assemble some raw materials, stroke, blow . . . voila!
The rest of us need practice, but soon started to feel more self-reliant. I returned to the city Sunday night in desperate need of a shower, but rejuvenated.
Back at work after the weekend, I listened to co-workers discuss their adventures “hunting” for shopping deals.
It made me wonder–what are the consequences of our lost connection to nature? Is convenience really more valuable than simplicity?
My city job is finished in a week, and I’m moving to the cabin. I don’t plan on making my tools from rocks, but I do plan on living happier with less.
My husband already started working from my brother’s cabin, where we can get Internet access. He phoned as I arrived home after a long drive in “rush” hour traffic.
“The construction is making the drive from work terrible right now,” I complained to him.
“I just had to pass a couple of ducks,” he replied.
This is one example of what I mean about trading convenience for simplicity.

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