A tropical storm was forming, it was pouring rain, big cool tropical drops drenched my world while the warm trade winds danced around me. Rustling palms sang their tropical song, the surf crashed across the reefs attempting to pound them into sand as it had since the beginning of time. My world was perfect except for one thing, I was lost.
Actually I wasn’t as much lost as my stealth camp site was. Turn the clock back 30 days, I had survived a massive flash flood that robbed me of all my gear and survived weeks lost in the jungle. Living with nothing but a small daypack and it meager contents changed me forever. When I finally made it back to civilization I had become a minimalist. I scanned all the shiny gear at the mountain shop but couldn’t bring myself to replace anything. All of my worldly possessions fit into a a 14 liter pack with room to spare. A chance meeting with a crazed vet turned me onto a military surplus store and a mil spec poncho with a liner that would turn out to be my tent and sleeping bag. He taught me how to build a campsite so stealth that I could live anywhere for free and never be bothered by the long arm of the law.
He must have been a good teacher because I made my camp so stealth I couldn’t find it, I searched for hours and never found a trace of my wonderful little home. I had reached the ultimate in simplicity, I owned nothing in the world but the clothes on my back. That was the day I was inducted into the simplicity hall of fame. I eventually returned from my travels, got a job, a car, a house, and resumed my descent into madness…
No matter how hard I try not to, I seem to accumulate things I cant live without till it gets to the point where I feel absolutely trapped by my possessions. Purchasing, owning, maintaining, storing, moving all my priceless crap, I know its priceless because I feel the need to insure it. Funny that I actually pay money to somebody to insure that if I am relieved from my burdens that they will be immediately replaced with newer more expensive burdens.
I wonder if I will ever be as free again as I was that day with nothing but the drenched clothes on my back. I had no bills to pay, no phone to answer, no possessions to protect, no mail, no keys. I was so calm that I would regularly just sit and listen to my heart beat about once every other second.
I remember back to that day on the beach and remember how pissed off at myself I was for losing my camp. I envy that person and how truly free he was even if he didn’t know it, and I have to ask myself. Has anything really changed?
“The Master said, “A true gentleman is one who has set his heart upon the Way. A fellow who is ashamed merely of shabby clothing or modest meals is not even worth conversing with.”