There's a vision in my head as I browse my library books tonight and sip my tea of the kind of life I wish I led. I love and enjoy many small parts of what already is, but I'm missing something in the authenticity of it. As I rush through my days and destroy my to-do list with x's, it feels false. I don't feel entirely me sitting behind a desk staring at televisions, waiting for opportunists and the needy to help themselves to things. Something's missing. Something where I can be creative and maybe get dirty, where I can run my fingers through fur or wool and find peace in physical labor. Other than the love that comes from my family and the basics of food, shelter, clothing and health, I need only three things: I need to farm, I need to create and I need to write.
My visionary homestead is quite simple. It's where I already live. When I close my eyes, only a few things are added or different at all. In my imagination, there is an herb garden by my front door, with purple coneflower and St. John's Wort. German Chamomile grows along the sidewalk that I can pick and steep for tea, and my small brick patio holds a pair of rocking chairs. I'd sit in them with a friend or my husband and sip lemonade in the late springtime from mason jars as I wait for my daughter to get home on the bus, the dog laying calmly at my side until she arrives.
Indoors there is comfort and cleanliness, but no sterility. We each have a comfortable bedroom and my husband and I each have an office. Mine has a over sized armchair near the window that pulls out into a twin bed for guests and a steel desk with a vintage rolling office chair. The walls are a pale green and there is artwork hanging- photographs mostly- with nature themes and barns. There are bookcases brimming with treasured reads, a soft rug and a small stereo with quiet music for inspiration. A sturdy apple crate stands on its end near the chair, doubling as an end table, a place where I can set my salt glazed coffee mug in early mornings. And here is where I write, where I work, how I provide for my family and give to the greater community with my words. No more CCTV, no more rampant consumerism, instead replaced with creativity and curiosity about the world.
Out back is where the real magic is. By the shed is a chicken tractor with a couple of girls for eggs. The garden they hang out in sometimes is just a few more feet back behind the swale. It's lush and green and a tad bit wild, full of tasty morsels like broccoli, snap peas and tomatoes, all loving grown from organic seed. Just a few feet beyond, the pasture begins. At the near edge sits the garden shed and sheep shelter, with a pile for compost between the pasture and garden, conveniently close to move the black gold to and from each place.
And in the pasture, little black and white horned creatures, our three Jacob ewes, peacefully enjoying the sunshine and hay.
None of this is there right now. Instead it lies cold and empty, damp earth out in the dark night, full of nothing but hope and promise. And I wait, sometimes impatiently, for the next step, with hope and faith that I am moving in the general direction of my dreams. I'll keep this in my journal and hold it close as my road map in case I get lost along the way. I know the road won't be easy and will quite surely be full of pitfalls and setbacks, impatience and frustration. Maybe with my tattered map in hand, together with my family, I'll still find my way.