Coats and hats. Fresh winter air. Muddy boots kicked off by the door. Socks on wooden floor boards. Hot cups of tea with new friends in the sunshine. Stories. Laughter. Hearty debates. Warm food. Real work. Dirt under the nails. Not a computer in sight. Phone battery died days ago and still haven’t bothered recharging it.
Baby chickens clutched in tiny hands. Pockets filled with mandarins and bags of seeds. Food picked fresh from the garden. Conversation. Quiet. Paint and poultry mix. The pitter patter of puppy feet and a lopsided grin. Bent iron and wire cutters.
Eggs collected and kissed one by one by a little girl before placed into a steel bucket.
There is something very magnetic about this life. Everything you do is with purpose. To feed an animal. To nourish the earth. To serve the community. To help a friend. To make a meal. I’m drawn to it. The simplicity and the purpose of it all. The early nights and the rustle of trees and the late night honking of geese in the orchard… There is something much more to this life than just stripping back the numbness that comes from a life lived in consumer culture… there is something a little bit magical. Going back. Doing what so many generations have done before us. Two hands in the earth, feeding it so it in turn will feed us.
It’s not easy by any means. It’s not without its challenge or its sacrifice. It’s not without tantrums and meltdowns and dramatic moments of todddler defiance and quiet mama moments of internal meltdowns all of my own… It’s not without icy cold night air and a very long walk through the rain to the toilet… or demands for things that I cannot provide from little voices that know no better than to ask. It’s certainly not without moments of doubt about why I do the things that I do… it’s not without a lot of things. But it is without fear… and it’s packed to the brim with satisfaction.
Late at night I lay in bed and I think about the different lives I’ve lived. The people I’ve surrounded myself with. The self destruction and the fun. The fear and the joy. The love and the distrust. I can feel it… we are finally finding our way… bit by bit. One determined step at a time.
A little life, lived on purpose… with a shadow by my side turning roundabouts on the gravel road, laughing all the way.