“I was born on the prairies where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures.”
Apache chief (1829-1909)
Once, like every other inhabitant of the planet, we were born onto this Earth and everything else was provided. We have progressed a long way since then, protecting ourselves with houses, travelling around in clever devices and letting others do our food production for us. In the chapter we reflect upon the consequences of it now being virtually impossible to forgo all the benefits of civilization and move back to a close-knit symbiotic relationship with the planet of our birth. It is illegal in most countries of the world to live like we were born to be.
In our development of civilisation we have so surrounded ourselves with the often wonderful inventions of our species that it is quite possible to forget that the natural state of our ancestors, not that long ago, did not involve apartment blocks, motor cars, telephones, suitcases, personal documents, lawyers, stereos, policemen, television, couture and all the other trappings of life that we sometimes mistake for our life itself.
Many pieces of state legislation define our “right” to live in a home with adequate facilities and, indeed, such facilities are given out free by the benevolent state to those occupants of the UK who are without them, and top of the waiting lists. Yet we have no right at all, indeed it is virtually illegal, to live on and from the land with no dependence whatsoever upon government support and with a minimum ecological footprint. How ludicrous is this?