We’re Wild People Now
2 wasp stings, 1 tick, and about 4000 mosquito bites later we survived our first week off-grid. On our way to Wild Spirit Prairie Sanctuary we saw 3 rainbows. Seeing them was reassuring, as I cried for most of the way there – again.
This time, rather than mourning the loss of our “stuff” (when I cried after we rented out our house to strangers), I was mourning the loss of our community; namely, saying goodbye to my parents.
I grew up just blocks away from my Nonna’s house in Drumheller, and I wanted the same for my daughter. So when my parents moved to Moose Jaw for work, we followed shortly after. I thought we would stay there for the rest of our lives, and now I don’t know for sure if we’ll go back. The more I let go, the further I want to fly.
But Reesen didn’t cry when we left Moose Jaw. It was me who was mourning my own childhood. It’s me who misses when a bicycle ride to Nonna’s house was enough of an adventure. I know this is what I need to do, but I wish it was easier. I wish security didn’t feel like a cage.
We took a wrong turn and ended up at a flooded out road. I wasn’t worried. Now that we’re in our motorhome we always have a warm bed to sleep in, no matter where we are. Jenni met us on the road and lead us to the Sanctuary. The mosquitos started biting as soon as we rolled down our window. I’m so glad we stopped in Craven for repellent.
We woke up with vigor, ready to lead a family-centered circus arts retreat!
The kids all had baskets to collect twigs, flowers and other findings. It was hot and sunny so we decided to go to the yoga platform in the forest to play. I leaned my hoops against the edge of the platform, and that’s when the wasps found me! The sting didn’t hurt too badly, but my thigh swelled up so I sat the next activity out with an ice pack.
I felt better at lunch so Reese and I took a break at the playground. That’s when the wasps found her! She had never been stung before so I wasn’t sure how she would react. She was tough! “Now when other people say that they’ve been stung by a wasp, I can say that I have been too!” she fought through tears.
That night we hooped until sunset and then Jenni led us through a full moon ceremony. We let go of the things we no longer needed and went for a moonlit walk through the forest. We heard the flap of a great-horned owl take-off just above us, and a dear run as we made our way near its bed. The moon was so bright it charged our solar panel all night.
It rained most of the day but cleared-up in the evening, just in time for our hoop skills immersion. We set up the tent so Reesen could have more space to play, protected from the weather.
When I brushed Reesen’s hair I found a tick nestled in behind her ear. I wanted to freak out so bad! But I took a deep breath, went and found Cody, and sat outside the camper while he used his tick remover tool to get rid of it. He was totally calm and so was Reesen – she said it didn’t hurt at all.
At night we could hear hawks and owls. I whistled really loud and the sheep answered, and then the horses. Sorry guys, I didn’t mean to wake you!
It’s getting hot. And we need really need to shower. We set up the solar shower for the first time and try it out. We thought we had the perfect shelter for it, until we realized it was totally see-through on either side. O well, there’s no one around anyway. Reesen loved showering outside!
At night we heard the horses go for a swim! They must have been hot too.
We’re starting to get restless. We’ve walked all the paths numerous times. We set up our screen house, the tent, the shower and are settling into some daily routines. We think about leaving, but then Jenni offers to let us use her car to go to the beach. It’s supposed to be hot tomorrow so we make a plan to go in the morning.
Tonight you can see every star in the sky.
We had an amazing day out at Sask Beach!
Things seem too good to be true… we are doing totally fine off-grid: powering our water pump and lights with a solar panel, using the compost toilet when needed but nowhere near needing to empty our tanks or fill with water, we have lots of propane to keep our fridge cold, the only food we’ve run out of is junk food (that’s probably for the better), and Reesen is having an awesome time!
But, when we get back to the camper after our day out the water pump won’t turn on. We open up the bench to access it and Tori the cat goes nuts – there’s a mouse. My mom phones and tells me that my Nonna is dying. I take the solar light inside at night to read and realize that a cat has peed on it. My wasp sting has been waking me up every night, so hot and itchy that I have to hold an ice pack on it in order to get back to sleep.
I have a meltdown, and we decide to leave in the morning.
The future looks bright again as we do our dishes outside and realize that the water pump was a luxury anyway. We’ll fix it if we need to, when we need to. Cody finds the mouse and kills it, so we say a little prayer. We pack up our camper and head out. We have four days before we have anywhere we need to be.
This is so exciting; we can go anywhere!
This is so scary; we have nowhere to go!
So now I wonder, what’s the difference between a cage and a fence? The birds look so free, but they are just as dependent as the rest of us – dependent on things they can’t control, like the weather and their food supply. We feel free now too, but that means we don’t have a fence to protect us.
I am learning that I need to trust that I will be taken care of. Wild animals don’t waste time trying to change the weather, they listen to their instincts and keep moving. Wild people don’t waste time building fences, they stay present and keep growing.
To learn more about Wild Spirit Prairie Sanctuary, visit: http://wildspiritprairies.wixsite.com/wildspirit or email email@example.com Our next stop was Fort Qu’Appelle, find pictures in our facebook group: The Rolling Hoop. Now we’re at the Living Skies Music & Food Fest in Melville SK. Learn more about our journey and where we’re going next @ hoopplay.ca