Creeping Snail Watercolor


s l o w l y
He carries mud on his shell.
The cracks in the mud repeat on his skin.
I watch in envy of his leisurely demeanor.
Multitasking is overrated.
s l o w
The way to go.

I like this little guy I found crossing the paved trail in the forest preserves. I’m juvenile enough (never loose the kid in you) to give him a name…Sherman Snail.

I’m envious of his ways. Stay with me for a minute…  Sherman is basic and lives in the moment. He doesn’t juggle tasks. He has one outfit. Eats only natural things. Doesn’t pay any cell phone company $200 a month for his family. Doesn’t depend on any banks, corporations, or governments. Sherman Snail is Self Sufficient.


Go Sherman, go!

My goal is to live a minimalist, self sufficient life. To live as close to nature as possible. I have a long way to go, but with each day I feel a stronger need to pull away from the system. The problem? If you’re not wealthy, you’re stuck in your current position. You make JUST enough money to live week to week. And that’s exactly how the system is set up. To keep the debt serfs going.

Does anyone have self sufficient success stories out there? I would love to hear them!


  1. I love snails! My third graders study them in science and we have a blast building jungle gyms with blocks and legos, sticking a carrot on the top and watching them climb. They are fascinating and gentle. Your poem is great! I, too, seek much quiet in my life. As a teacher, that can be hard to come by, but I know how important it is to me, especially in my walk with God. Blessings to you.

    1. Oh cool! Jungle gyms for snails….wow, I would have so much FUN in your class!!! 😀
      You’re sparking a love for nature in those little children, That’s wonderful!
      Thank you and blessings to you as well. 🙂

  2. I really love this painting and your poem. I too long to take life at a slower pace! As I was watching the little chickadees flying around my trees the other day and enjoying their beautiful song I wondered do these gorgeous creatures realize how much people enjoy watching them. It is so neat that you took notice of that little snail!! God is so good!!

    1. Yes, my friend…God is so good! The chickadees can keep my attention for hours. They’re so happy and chipper. They haven’t a clue how they can entertain us humans! Ha ha ha! 😀
      Thanks for the lovely comment.

  3. Love Sherman!
    As for self sufficiency, I think if you have children it’s impossible to simplify your life enough to be self sufficient. They will have to work and survive in a complex society and you will do them no favors by not providing all the complexities which our society seems to believe are necessities.

    However, you can simplify on a personal basis and do that every day in many ways, and once you retire simplification is often a must for financial reasons. My income is 950 a month from social security, and I live quite comfortably on that as long as there are no great emergencies looming. The house is paid for but small, and my needs are minimal. Electric and heating bills are kept to a minimum, TV is there but is not connected and used only for DVD’s which are loaned to me, I buy used clothing, recycle and use things up, refuse to own all the latest gadgets or appliances which just complicate life, and my home is simple and easy to care for. I eat simple but healthy food, never eat out and my entertainment is being in nature with my little dog and being with friends who share my love for nature. I don’t own a cell phone or an I-pad and the only reason I have a computer (an old one) is because before retirement I worked on it. I read and get my books from the library. What I value most is the complete freedom I now have to live my own schedule and to do what I want—-which is paint. I’m a botanical artist and once in a while I sell a painting or two which is money I tuck away for emergencies.

    But there re some things I would hate to give up even though I think I could work around it if I had to: I do sometimes indulge in art supplies when I can. I love my washer and even my dryer as well as my dishwasher (which I only use about twice a week), and my car is a huge expense but is a necessity since I live 5 miles outside the nearest town in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and there is no other transportation. But even if it all went up in smoke in one of our forest fires, the only things that I would save are my dog, my car and my sketchbooks and the fire would be welcomed to everything else. There is no attachment to anything and no sentimentality.

    Freedom is more important to me than anything, and while money can give you a certain amount of freedom and choices, so can owning nothing much. They are only different, but both come at a price. Money takes watchfulness and care, investment and taxes and making sure you can keep it. Having nothing means your choices are limited and emergencies can become real headaches.

    I would rather have the latter for the sake of FREEDOM, and most of my friends have called me the only really “free spirit” they have ever met, which I consider a great compliment. However, not being “with it” can also mean you will be labeled as a dinosaur. LOL

    1. Wow Rose! Thanks for commenting and sharing how you have simplified in your life. That sounds amazing. I am little by little eliminating things and finding I’m not missing them at all. There is freedom in becoming detached from material possessions. I think through my faith I have been given the wisdom to see this and the strength to do this without struggle…nothing else seems to matter. With God, no material things seem to measure up.
      Thanks again for the insight. Your minimal living sounds tranquil. 🙂

  4. PS: A good book to read is one called “Ordinary People as Monks and Mystics” by Marsha Sinetar. She collected information on people who simplified and became self sufficient, and it gave me the courage to do what I do.

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