Each evening before I crawl into my cozy V-berth I top off my two gallon water tank with my one gallon water jug, then climb out into the night to refill that jug as well. Yes it is a tedious task but it helps me to appreciate not only exactly how much water I use on a daily basis but also the most precious and under appreciated resource on the planet earth, water.
It’s almost noon and while my thanksgiving fast technically ended when I opened my eyes this morning I still haven’t eaten but I will soon. It always amazed me how crazy Americans get if they can’t have their precious food every few hours. Working as a bartender I got to experience this first hand when a couple threw an asolute tantrum for not being served within 10 minutes. I can’t even imagine what would happen if there was a real disaster, I assume people would just start eating their neighbors.
If you haven’t experienced mild starvation you should, the transformations that go through your body and mind are amazing. I always feel like I’m at my peak when I’m underfed which is good because I’m always underfed which is curious as to why I have a giant King Kong sized belly, go figure.
So last year I spend thanksgiving day kicking around the local dumpsters in Hawaii and was rewarded with a tin of beef. Back at Little Beach where I had been stealth camping for a few days I found my adopted kitty Punani and shared my feast with her, it wasn’t enough to satisfy my hunger even with the added coconut but I was more greatful for that meal than any other. It represented survival, freedom and my naked tanned body felt charged with the meal. It also fed my soul knowing that my kitty was well care for that night.
The stars were more brilliant that evening than any I can remember in my life, the black sky had a hue of pink while rain manifested from nowhere. Ukuleles, strummed to the beat of the drums while hippies danced around the fire, the night was surreal. Later that evening a fisherman brought us all a huge fish on a bed of rice surrounded with fresh veggies from his garden topped with cheese. I was starving but only took a small portion wanting to make sure each and every person was well fed.
As a child I was taught to always go to the back of the line and eat last. I’m one of the fortune few on this planet that will never know what true suffering is or real hunger or starvation. I had put myself into that situation by buying a one way ticket to Hawaii and showing up with only 500 bucks to my name which vanished almost instantly but I could have pulled the plug at anytime.
When I flew to the islands I had a mission, to find buried treasure and I did. I’m no prepper but I am preparing for what is headed our way. Not by hoarding food, although as a sailor I do that when I can but by obtaining the skills I need for when there is none. Living in the scrub taught me that I could not only survive with almost nothing but that I could also thrive and was quite happy doing it. It’s one thing to think that you can do something. It’s something entirely diffent when you are out there doing it day in and day out with no safety net.
My morning coffee is almost done, Sookies small cabin smells of fresh garlic, onions and island spice, my potatoes are ready. My simple feast is a good one, one that I am always thankful to have and reminds of of the words I spoke so many years ago when I said I wanted my freedom at any cost. It’s not easy living this lifestyle but every day is worth it.
“I never expected it to be easy” Lin Pardey