I wanted to tell you all how lovely your responses were to my last post! It overwhelms me to think of all the support I have in this endeavor, and how rich and full my life is. I feel so awed by life lately. Delicious. It's not even all fun, really. I have had some recent dramatic interpersonal stuff that I could take a pass on, not to mention the near constant sleep deprivation that comes with this second kiddo, but it's all just part of the big picture. Stretching into all of it. Growing.
I'm reading a book called "Micro Eco-Farming" (cuz I just can't keep my hands off of stuff like that…), and there was a quote that just spoke to me that I wanted to share.
"We don't need corporate agribusiness to save us from starvation. Food is our excuse to co-create with nature instead of being passive recipients; to reach across species; to mingle with other humans; and to listen to an earthly rhythm."
I read that piece over and over again, each part rising up and resonating in its own way. Mostly, I was drawn to the idea of being a co-creator rather than a passive recipient. This is one of the things that makes us human- the ability to create and participate in our own lives. This is essential to our happiness, I think. How many of us in this culture have been talked out of our desires and instincts in favor of a life filled with work that is not our own? I don't think we're ever supposed to be passive recipients. What a concept. What would it mean to actively participate in every facet of our life? I don't mean that we do everything that it takes to sustain us, or that we never enjoy the work that others have done- but I guess I mean that we no longer are uninvolved.
Derrick Jensen (one of my favorite authors) talks about how native peoples were all participants in every area of the group's life. Everyone was a worker, an artist, a musician, a friend, a dancer, a healer, a teacher, etc. They were all up in the stuff of life. There were people who had gifts, surely, but no one backed out of these activities because they weren't gifted in them. I've been really interested in that concept lately. These days I hear a lot about what type of person someone is- a doctor, lawyer, teacher, engineer, "outdoor person", "black thumb", etc. People are so tied to labeling themselves based on what earns them income or what they happen to be an expert in, and so quick to discredit themselves based on lack of knowledge or experience in an area. I guess I don't want to be so quick to knock this- I am very appreciative of many people in my community who are experts and specialists. I just feel like this realization has been very freeing for me. I've always wanted to do it all, and haven't minded so much that I wasn't the best at it… or at least it hasn't stopped me from trying. I recently heard my little sister talking about this same concept for her own life. She just does stuff that feels good and fun and is not so worried about what she's going to be. She is herself, an active participant in her own life. Yeah. Obviously it's a much more complex picture than that which I've painted- you know, considering the bills to be paid and all. But I do think we all need to consider this concept and see ways in which we are more free to participate than we might know.
No sooner was the garden put to bed than we were starting big indoor projects. Oh and holiday crafting. We are busy bees.
Before and After? Yes.
A busy space, but totally adequate. But our desire for a more efficient/newer fridge mixed it all up… We found a used fridge that we thought was perfect, but it was just a little too wide for the space. Well, we wanted to move the stove to the outside wall so we could install the hood fan and whatnot, and that means that the dishwasher has to move, and oh, why don't we just knock out the wall in between the kitchen and dining room…
New dishwasher spot.
Cabinet taken down in front of new stove spot.
Cabinet put up on inside wall, new fridge in place.
This is about where we are now. The kitchen and dining room are becoming one big open space. I will also have more cabinet and counter space when this is done. Now it's just the details. Jeff is having fun with this project, and it's hard to get him to think about much else. Well, except our new land!
Speaking of the land, we went out there the other day and walked through the whole thing. We found the hill we want to build our home into. It's beautiful, and felt just right. We visited the creek. We found a clearing that would be our communal gathering area. We enjoyed the tall trees and mossy rocks everywhere. We noticed deer and raccoon tracks. It was kind of amazing. Of course I forgot my camera. I just can't believe we get to preserve this little patch of land in the middle of all this development. It was so beautiful, even in the middle of winter. I can't wait for spring! I did manage to get a couple of pictures just from the very edge of the property, not taken on that day.
Jeff and I both reflected on that hike and realized that while it's bittersweet to think about leaving this house, once we make this move I don't think we'll look back. This spot- it's so alive and has so much to offer us. We've also got our work cut out for us, happily so. For example, I've already spotted a few invasive plants that I'm going to have to deal with right off the bat. We have to start making trails (which we've figured out would be about 2 miles worth when we're done, and also our friend has plans for a mountain bike trail! It's so awesome.) We have to clear the spaces for our houses, and make plans, and get them approved. We have to map out the areas for the gardens, for animals, for out buildings and hoop houses. There's so much to do, I don't think I'll have any time to feel sad about leaving our house. Plus, we already have a prospective buyer who's not even interested in moving for another year or so. All of it is coming together so far. One step at a time…