The life I live does not make my mother jealous at all – except that she would love to see me more often. She wasn’t jealous when I lived in the primitive cabin either.
But Dad liked it. His can-do pioneer spirit revived. He could see all the possibilities and he pitched in with a will to help make the dream come true. Mom pitched in too, went over and above, but to her it was only hard work, extra duty. “I could never live like this,” she said. No, Mom and Dad are not at all jealous of the life I now lead.
To an erstwhile spouse, the cabin was a dream-come-true. He caught it, got a grip on it and will never let go. Once upon a time, he had other dreams, outdoor dreams, naturalist dreams, travel dreams, but his grasp of possession on the cabin obliterates the vision of other possibilities. He is trapped.
I alone get to live out the rest of the dream.
My ex-husband is no longer along for the ride. Sometimes that makes me feel guilty when I enjoy the great outdoors, the rocks and trees and solitude. But it was my dream too. I got here responsibly. I worked hard. I provided for my children. So I keep putting one foot in front of the other. Solo. I probably feel guilty less often than he feels covetous.
Wilderness lovers and supporters to the max, my brother and SIL work duty-bound jobs to support themselves with a six-figure income. Their love of travel and their gifts evocative of everything Nature speak to their love of the great outdoors. Yet they are tethered to a university and an edifice; to the whim of grants and administrators.
My brother and SIL are living the dream in their way; well-planned, itineraried and funded by secure savings accounts. They wonder at me living it frugally and surviving on less than a shoestring – a thing many are not willing to do. Admittedly, I still have to find a way to pay a couple residual bills and I don’t see any overseas travel in the near future. Once in awhile that stresses me.
But most of the time I am abundantly grateful for a roof over my head at night, a vast sky and wilderness during the day, hot and cold running water, the nurture of nature’s beauty and the solitude that brings inspiration and understanding.