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Birth of Natural Living

It started when my son Ian was born. The birth of my son Ian and then just 22 months later, my daughter Claire, triggered an understanding of how we’re all connected, and how that connection continues through time. My son Ian brought tears of joy through 43 hours of hard labor, pain, agony, and finally joy, when he appeared calmly with a look of peace on his face. My daughter Claire appeared after just eight hours of labor. She literally flew into this world, looking terribly lost. She turned purple as she could not breathe from the shock of having to breathe on her own. She was eventually resuscitated by a calm miracle worker of a doctor after what seemed an eternity. I cried with joy as never before or since both times. This miracle of birth is our connection to each other and the life force through time. I am them and they are me.

These moments of truth, these connections  between child and parent that link us all together, the miracle of life, and the recognition of our simple humanity, these connections are why we must take responsibility for the problems all around us.

What does it take to achieve a lifestyle  that is restorative to the earth? First you have to imagine what the result will be like. At the dreaming stage you really need to be open to all the options and opportunities around you. Let your mind run free and dream of all the incredible things you can do to create a lifestyle that lets you enjoy nature, provides a healthy environment for your kids and allows you to explore a new way of living. I have found that keeping a journal is an excellent way to keep track of all the ideas, thoughts, task lists, pictures, poems, and news clippings of interest. Having these notes, and reviewing them periodically, reminds me of dreams I may have forgotten – good ones, that might now be possible.

Creating a plan for lifestyle  change requires a thorough understanding of your requirements, budgets, goals, objectives, values, and principles . This level of planning is important so you remain true to your intents and purposes. This is not to say that the creative process of Natural Living won’t alter your path as you take each step. In fact, it’s important to be prepared to go with the flow that guides all processes. Sometimes the results will not be exactly what we envisioned. Nature accepts this type of process and so should you, as long as you adhere to the essential principles. Many times this process will lead to a more natural path towards your goals.

The story of my journey toward Natural Living begins with the birth of my children. The love we feel for our children is a deeply protective one. I have discovered that in the face impending dangers, an almost primal urge wells up inside me giving me the courage and energy to protect my children. Protect them from what, I wondered. Any danger to their health  and well being, any threat to their life, was a deep concern to me as a new father. The great danger I was reading and hearing about in the news, books, magazine and television reports was the threat humans were posing to their own “environment”. The greatest scientists of our time issued a “Warning to Humanity” (see Appendix A for the full text of the warning) that struck me as perhaps the greatest long term threat my children would face. I posted this warning message on the bulletin board above my desk at home. My passion to act in the strongest way possible had been fully aroused.

Children

The late fall of 1992 saw the birth of my son Ian. At the time we lived in downtown Toronto, in a wonderful old neighborhood called Riverdale. Our beautiful old house had been perfect for Leigh and me as a couple working downtown. Now, with Ian our baby, the cost of living suddenly grew dramatically. Leigh’s return to work necessitated the additional expense of day care. Our financial future became a concern.

Claire our daughter was born October 6, 1994. In my journal I noted:

Claire, our daughter is almost one month and a half. My little girl is so beautiful, so precious, so delicate, true innocence and expectation of a beautiful future. It is time to act. Somehow I must try to make a difference. We must give back to the earth a lasting natural park recovered from the rubble. Children can gain so much from simple, beautiful educational experiences on peace and nature and people’s ability to affect change. An oasis in a desert makes a strong impression because it is so refreshing. We need to celebrate and enshrine and perpetuate the heroes of peace and nature in order to build on their foundations. The voices must be heard.

Claire and Ian Wilson building the Wilson Natural Home in 2000, with their dad John Wilson, and the homes builder Colin Richards.

Shortly after Claire was born we realized that if we were to make our dreams a reality, we had to downsize. We found a townhouse twenty minutes from downtown by commuter train. This small townhouse was about half the price of our wonderful old house in Riverdale. These savings would go towards a fund for purchasing and building the solar  powered house of our dreams.

Most of the changes we need to make depend on making the jump in understanding that we are all connected to each other, to nature, and the entire universe. Once you understand this, once this becomes your extended self, then you are ready to look at things as they really are.

Here is a list of objectives developed during the early years trying to understand what we needed to do:

  • Teach by example the benefits of environmental preservation and restoration.
  • Inspire a change in thinking, such that environmental preservation and restoration become the status symbols of society.
  • Emulate and live in harmony  with nature .
  • Focus on the long term implications of planning, design  and development.
  • Reestablish, encourage and preserve human consciousness of nature .
  • Abandon the notion of perpetual growth ; instead, embrace natural equilibrium and symbiosis as the models for human systems.
  • Consider alternative  solutions to environmental restoration and preservation.
  • Find and foster workable solutions to environmental restoration and preservation.
  • Persevere – remember that this process of change is a long term one and that it will never end.

This evolutionary process will be lead by ordinary people like you and me, not political leaders. Try to come up with your own set of objectives.

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