A reader’s perspective to being off the grid.
Since my last post I have become older and wiser. Well maybe not wiser, but definitely older. It made me reflect on where I am in my personal life, my professional life, and my life. Am I happy? Am I doing what I want to be doing? Am I on track to have the most fun and enjoyable times? Obviously the answers to these questions would be much easier to answer if I could predict the future, but since I can’t…I started pestering my wife with the idea of being off the grid. Of course this was inspired by a story so let’s start there.
Apparently back in the decade that I was born (the 70’s) there was an amazing movement of women coming together to purchase land and then settle on it to form a community- Womyn’s Land. The gender stereotypes would be broken down and everyone would just live. Grow food, repair buildings, fix vehicles, and whatever else needed to be done in order to create a functioning community. In Gerri Hill’s After the Summer Rain, Erin Ryder finds herself on one such community that has aged into the 2000’s. The women are older but still as sufficient as ever. New members are scarce and the concept doesn’t seem to be as pressing as it was in the 1970’s, but the members of Eagle Bluff Ranch are comfortable in what they created and have found forever home’s and more importantly family among the members. I so want to go and live there! I want to be completely disconnected from the internet, phones, computers, commuter traffic, stupid politicians, and from working a job that may or may not be healthy. I think it would be so fulfilling to grow enough vegetables in my garden to last throughout the year, to chop my own firewood, to wake up when the sun shines into my bedroom, and go to sleep when I’m tired at night. To eat when I’m hungry in a leisurely manner and not as fast as I can in my 30 minute lunch. I really think I could get to the space where Gerri Hill’s Melanie West’s character is when she meets Erin Ryder! Everyone should really read this story just to unplug for awhile and find an inner peace.
Listening to the story it made me think of other lesfic stories that have a women separatist component to them. One of my favorite’s is Jean Stewart’s Isis series starting with Return to Isis. This is where we meet Whit and Amelia/Kali and enter the Freeland world run by women as the series takes on politics, space travel, adventure, and of course love. I started this series over two decades ago and I still flash back to it when thinking of all the great series I first encountered when finding LesFic.
Another series that has a powerful women society is Diana Rivers The Hadra Series that starts with Daughters of the Great Star. In this, women band together to form a society of their own when they become outcasts of other societies. They learn to survive and to love and support one another with each challenge their community is faced with. It is definitely an empowering series.
So are these communities gone forever or will we have to wait until the year 2093 before our Isis arrives? I actually Googled Womyn’s Land in the US and there are still some communities that can be found through on-line searches. Because this has been my new fascination for the past month or so, I’ve of course have been asking all my friends if they would go off the grid if the opportunity presented itself. Speaking with some friends who are well into their 80’s and who were very much into the Lesbian and Gay rights movement, was very informative regarding this answer. They told me about Womyn’s Lands they knew about in the Louisiana and Mississippi areas. Places that have become more of a retirement home for lesbians and offer campground spots for those passing through or wanting to escape the cold winters of the north, but there are still Womyn’s Land communities!
I would love to hear of anyone’s adventures on a Womyn’s Land or something similar. And if there are more LesFic stories out there focused on a women’s community, please share!! Thanks for reading everyone!