Life is not all about work…

Monday, November 23, 2009

…and neither is homesteading.

Personal Journal – November 22, 2009

It’s a point I try to make often to my more skeptical town friends. Sometimes even we homesteaders have those quiet lazy days where little is thought about and even less is accomplished. Yesterday was one of those days. We woke up late, about 7:30 (a luxury that is not afforded us when there are sheep in the barn). I could hear a young rooster trying to master his crow. The hens were scratching, and fluffing themselves in the dirt, chattering as hens always do. The dogs were on patrol. I could hear them in the bushes, sniffing and prowling about, looking for treasures. These are the kinds of mornings that beg you to stay in bed and quietly listen to the sounds of the farm. You can learn so much by just listening.

By the time I stumbled through the house, Brianne was already laid out on the sofa, buried under a mound of quilts making friendship bracelets and watching a movie I found at a local book sale a few weeks ago. Dakota was at her feet begging for more room to stretch out. Last nights fire was gone, but you could still hear crackles and pops as the embers cooled and died. It was dark and lonely, but could easily be revived with a little encouragement and a few pieces of kindling.

Breakfast was a steaming bowl of porridge, topped with nuts and brown sugar, bananas and milk. By the time it’s ready I’m on my second cup of tea (i’m not a coffee person…so not a coffee person), Earl Gray with a splash of milk and a bit of sugar. From the kitchen I can hear the twitter of birds. I don’t know what type; we have become a kind of way station for passersby’s. Some have a sharp trill in their voice, while others chirp on and on for quite awhile. The crows are back, I can hear their caw, caw, caw, but no sight of the red tailed hawk that perches himself on the arbor.

No – life is not always about work. Sometimes it’s about quiet, easy mornings, warm and safe in a simple home. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there will be work done this weekend, but it will be slower, less rushed, with less urgency for completion than other days. I have a few errands to run in town, the truck needs gas for the coming week, Brianne’s birthday is next week and I need a card, the nesting boxes in the coop need to be refilled and the floor raked out. There’s mulch to lie out in the garden and I want to finish the quilt I’ve been working on. Yes, there will be lots of work this weekend. But there will also be time for sitting back and listening to the sounds of this farm. Time for a second (or third) cup of tea, time for snuggling with a mangy dog trying to hog the sofa and time to just relish what we’ve built with our own two hands. No – life isn’t all about work. A lot of life is about paying attention and enjoying what comes our way, the fruits of our labor. And, if we get a few bumps and bruises or have to tend animals in the rain so be it.

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