We are a month in on this wild, beautiful journey we call homesteading. And I have to say, it couldn’t be much better. There is something about being this close to nature, about working hard and seeing the results of your labor at the end of the day. It’s been rewarding to all of us. I’m watching my children blossom, just in this short of an amount of time. Digging in, showing up every morning with their gloves on and asking what the plan is.
I’m not glorifying this lifestyle in any way. I don’t ever plan to sugar coat it or live like every little moment is an Instagram perfect capture. Some days the work has not only been hard, but downright exhausting. And we haven’t even acquired animals or bees yet. In the quest to live simply, you have to work harder to achieve that. Seems counter intuitive, doesn’t it?
But for my family, this quest for self-sufficiency and self-reliance will be well worth the discouraging days. There’s been fewer video games played, less TV watched, and not as much time spent hunched over staring at the screen of our phones. What’s replaced that is more meals cooked together, more dancing in the kitchen and sitting on the porch chatting. More walks, more exploration and a relearning of what we call fun. This is the life I signed up for, and what my spirit so desperately craved!
I’ve watched my oldest son listening to his uncle and absorbing all the knowledge he can. Trying things he would have shied away from not too long ago. I’ve watched his confidence in the abilities of his body and strength grow, and his capabilities as a young man catch fire in his mind. I’ve seen his anxious tendencies dwindle, and a newer, calmer teen emerge.
At a recent BBQ where the community came together so we could get to know everyone, a man sat next to me and complimented me on my sons. Especially my oldest. His character, his maturity and his manners. That meant so much to me. He has officially been adopted as the community son 🙂 and one man who has only daughters was pretty excited to have an honorary son and he and his wife took him on one of their daily hikes to get to know him better.
But I think my favorite thing so far, is that no matter how hard we are working to get this place running, we are taking time to enjoy our surroundings. Getting out for walks in the woods, mushroom hunting and wild flower spotting. Enjoying lazy, sunny afternoons with the dogs and getting to know our neighbors who make up this mountain community.
After dinner each night, I walk down to the barn with happy dogs at my side. I hear goats bleating, a rooster crowing and the dogs sighing with pleasure as they let themselves fall into tall blades of grass to lay down. The smell of fresh pine, grass and whatever sweet smelling flowers perfume the cool mountain air fills my nose. There’s nothing particularly interesting about this. Yet it fills my heart with immense pleasure.