Thru my 20s and 30s I was into martial arts, mountain biking and youth work. Eventually I noticed that the greatest benefit occurred when we were abiding in wild natural environments; the wilder the better. So I delved into working as a wilderness guide, helping young people feel at home in nature as they found ways to dispel intensities. I kept at til my own kids came along, and family life called me to put down roots somewhere. So here we are in a little farm house up Cowichan Valley. I can’t complain…
A big part of the guiding life was building shelter out of whatever was available. Debris huts, lean-to’s, tipis… usually not much more than a tarp and some rope – and sometimes less than that. The other key element was making a hearth fire to gather round and cook with. So long as we could keep warm via movement, metabolism, and an external heat-source, we experienced great com-fort (with-strength). And the abundant qi/chi/prana of wild nature was ours to absorb without hindrance.
As my guiding days wound down, Sadie and I first moved into a little cob cabin with a rumford fireplace I had helped build. The first few mornings of waking up in the cabin I felt great, but something about it had me baffled. I was feeling refreshed in much the same way I felt when sleeping in the great outdoors. But I was now surrounded by 4 walls and a roof. Here I was in a warm comfortable home, feeling virtually all of the vibrant energy I usually only felt outdoors. This was an altogether new experience, leading to a major ‘AHAAA’.
I have been building dwellings and wood-fired heaters from natural materials ever since… Handling these materials keeps me mobile, healthy, and subtly in tune with wild nature. So… I love what i do.