How the Back to the Land Movement Got Its Start
Thoreau was a fuck-up all his life, and while acting as a tutor for Emerson’s children, he accidentally burned down 300 acres of woods.
Ellery Channing told him, “Go out upon that, build yourself a hut, and there begin the grand process of devouring yourself alive. I see no other alternative, no other hope for you.”
So Thoreau threw up a cabin and spent two years considering which pond was more beautiful: Walden, Flint’s or White Pond. The cabin was just a mile and a half from Concord, and Thoreau entertained guests and went into town regularly for provisions.
Out of this experience a century later came the back-to-the-land movement which led people like my granddaughter to declare she was going to go live in the deep wilderness with her infant son and her dog. When I asked her just where this deep wilderness was she said, “I don’t know. Probably somewhere in Oregon.”