Erika, this piece makes me feel the same as I am sure that glowing fireplace makes you feel. Although I choose a different lifestyle than yours and have actually lived the reverse of you — going from country to city rather than city to country —, I am more and more drawn to simplicity, quiet, community, my own schedule of what I think is important, and a refusal to drown in chaos I didn’t create and can’t control. I long to retire so I am not plagued by the problems, concerns, and obsessions of others that become my problems, concerns, and obsessions because I am paid to make them mine.
I’ve been dealing with shingles for one week, forcing me to trim my work hours as I cope with random pain, burning, itching, and aching. But, in spite of the insane discomfort, I am reveling in having a valid reason for saying Sorry, I can’t. I will pay for this unwelcome vacation but, at this moment, I like being disconnected from the tumbling work world.
May winter bring you rest, comfort, and many hours of creativity. Although you lifestyle and location are as far from my comfort level as one can get, I love reading about the world you created to meet the needs and wants of the person you are.