I’ve heard it said that in the life of a mother, the days are long but the years dash by. Even at this early stage in our evolution I can testify to the truth of this. My boys are growing up, no longer babies yet not grown yet, it is lovely (most of the time) but it makes me want to hold on to some of the little moments.
Of course there are many moments I’d love to forget.
At the end of each day it can feel like the work of the day has drained the fun out of it, in the rush to get everyone fed, read to, bathed, into bed…it is easy for the little moments of happy, or of simply being, to just be forgotten.
Our day to day is pretty mundane, nothing earth shattering to my mind. But the other day when Stephen and I were chatting he asked me if our life style could be seen as ‘radical’ and, after a little consideration I had to answer ‘yes’. What seems very ordinary to us (and isn’t it strange how quickly something goes from new to ordinary?) would be quite unusual to most families these days.
We raise our own animals for food, chickens for meat and eggs, cows for milk and beef, pigs for pork. We make most of our food and aim to be fully self sufficient when the garden is in full bloom. We live in an eco-friendly house we built ourselves that has (thankfully) low energy costs and uses as much renewable energy as possible. We homeschool our children and share our every day lives with them, including them in our farming activities, our daily work and even sharing our thoughts and philosophies with them.
The very act of sitting at the kitchen counter with my boys while they make chinese lanterns on a Wednesday morning is, for a lot of people, a bit odd. To us it is all we know and I rarely think about our choices in the context of the wider world, a world with very different values and priorities. I surround myself with people who care about what they eat, how their children are raised, how they live on the earth. They don’t all follow the same path as us but they are all living conscious lives, aware of what they are doing and why they are doing it. So this is our normal.
The work of the farm, though sometimes onerous, is simply part of our lives now. It seems strange to me that we’ve only been doing this for a couple of years, it’s so much of who we are. Collecting wood for the furnace, hauling water for the animals, collecting eggs and spreading hay, all tasks that may come up on any given day, all part of the fabric of our world.
It is as I would have it be, this life we’ve shaped for ourselves. Each day may not be a triumph, it may not contain anything extraordinary or worth celebrating, yet within that is something exceptional. We’ve made the life we imagined, we made it happen through our dreaming and our work. Our boys are being raised the way we hoped, surrounded by nature with people who love them. We’re living close to the land, learning the hard lessons and reaping the benefits of our work. We have time to work on the little projects that bring delight and colour into our lives, exploring our own creativity and resourcefulness. All the little things, woven together, that make up the fabric of our world.