This is the place I lost all
hope. This stump was once
well, that’s obvious.

Its’ lot was empty except
for the leaves that dove into
a pool of green

at its’ feet. Each day I whisked by
my tree framed in the bus
window the only life

on Chicago Ave. I looked forward
to this glimpse, clung to it
like a free climber

defying gravity. They cut it
down without ceremony
I flat lined, sick with parking

lots. I wept on the way
to work humiliated, engulfed
by the dead who never saw

my tree, never mourned.
I rationalized they must need
to build, passage or

progress, small consolation.
But none came, it was
senseless, a violation.

Faith buckled and pocked
a city street,unfunded.
I got out

of the bus in May.
I walked to the grave.
The circumference,

bones of a galaxy picked clean
reduced to one dimension.
The years, the rings

sang like the lip
of a wineglass under my hand
caught on one sprout

regeneration. It was the whole
of the world, a forest, a vision
under one leaf

I built a life.
Young tree seedling grow from old stump

Chicago Il. April rd 2013 Day 3 Napowrimo

© 2013 Abby Smith, Writer

Welcome to very simple, very easy, very good

our little house

our little house

Hello, my name is Abby. I live on a mountain in Mexico in the middle of nowhere. One of the reasons I live here is that I wanted the proverbial simple live. A consequence of living in Mexico and being broke is that I haven’t enough money to get resident papers and so must leave the country every six months, which I have been doing for the past seven years. Often kind friends and family help me with a ticket for a visit, thus my travels have taken me to Iowa, Illinois, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Texas, and Michigan. A common thread that runs through my travels is hearing about people’s interest in living more simply, downscaling, treading more lightly, buying locally, sustainability ……  there are so many ways to approach this concept. Because my husband Felipe and I are on our way to achieving this, debt free, low impact, back to the land status  people often ask me where to begin. Followed by the statement, “It is so overwhelming”. This I  understand. I was so beleaguered by the prospect when living in Chicago I felt retreat was the only solution, and though I am happy with my choice, I now understand that life can be VSVEVG, anywhere. In this blog I write about life in rural Mexico, and what we’ve learned through trail and error (mostly error). I hope to relay information that can make your lives easier, cheaper and kinder to the planet. Ideally, I’ll make you laugh along the way.

A bit about us:

Felipe and I live on 7 hectares of land near his small home town in Morelos. Our home is one story, nine by four meters, made of concrete block. We have a well (six meters) that Felipe dug by hand, it provides sufficient water for our home, livestock and a small garden year round. At present we have 8 pigs, 3 horses, 2 ducks and various chickens, dogs, and cats. We have electricity which is a blessing, but our goal it to be solar-powered. We own outright everything in our domain, our income is approximately 100 dollars a week, with occasional windfall  (gifts, odd jobs, art sales). We farm about 5 acres, mostly organically, by hand. We are in the process of weaning our land off chemical dependence. Our goal is a zero waste, self sustainable life.


Very simple, very easy, very good is how Chef Dean Zanella describes his dishes to his wait staff during pre-shift meetings. I am proud to have worked with Dean and thankful for everything he taught me about the concept.