Changes From Within

Sunday, November 14, 2010

We are a small suburban homestead here—a few cloven hooves, a few mixed breed chickens, a rabbit, a garden with fruit trees and berry canes, and two wandering dogs.

The posts that hold the arbor fences also hold the laundry line. The lamb I roast for Sunday dinner is also the lamb that is chopped and sprinkled over kibble. The shells from the eggs I crack into omelets end up in the compost, and scraps of fresh salad greens and veggies are feasts for our feathered ones. So what was once waste, to be thrown into the trash, is now feed for future eggs or chicken salad or turned into garden soil. The system we have is simple, but it serves us well.

There is work yet to be done though; I’d like to have a greenhouse to extend our growing season, a pond with geese and Thanksgiving turkeys. But, for now there is a garden to turn and meat chicks to raise. There are the chores of switching from one season to another, lamb to sell, firewood to lie in and workshops to attend. Without really knowing how, it all seems to fall into place. It all, somehow, gets done.

As I think back on all we have accomplished, I realize that the real work of this farm is not the food we’ve grown or the skills we’ve learned: it’s us. I say this will all sincerity.

When you build a place into your life purpose it changes you; changes how you understand yourself. It humbles you, but not at the mercy of the main intention. There’s no room for ego when there’s a barn full of shit waiting to be shoveled. When I think back over how we have slowly turned an overgrown suburban lot into what we want it to be, I see confidence in who we are, strength in who Brianne will become, but also worries. I never used to think about Brianne going off on her own, wanting to make her own way. I know she wants her own place one day, but I think about how and where and when. I worry about tasks that are beyond my strength, being alone and having time to myself. Certain things subside over time, but some stay raw and exposed.

Maybe that’s just the growing part. Or, maybe this place is teaching me to mind my priorities and let logic win over emotion. I’m not quite sure. I do know one thing I’m happy in this life, feel at home on our little farm with the animals and home cooked meals. I can close my eyes, click my heels three times and settle in.

Perhaps we never really settle down into our lives. Maybe we just have to give our lives time to settle into us.

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