Sunday, January 23, 2011

life amongst the pastures

We live rural, with all the curses and all the blessings. I have struggled with accepting our distance from "civilization", but have been adapting, and finding that the distance at times can encourage my self-sustaining vision of life.

Able-Bodied Mom & Dad live atop a rural country mountain now, in their retirement, with the self-reliance needed when 4-inches of snow and wind can create house-bound conditions (what a lovely holiday it was last month!). Dad mentioned that he suspects a bit of Amish in our blood, and I too feel the pull towards a simpler way of life. Growing raising sowing nurturing cycling through the seasons. Staying home to care for plants and animals and others and self.

But this just isn't feasible or practical at this point in our lives. I feel defeated saying that, but it is what it is, and we do try to add little bits of the earth back into our concrete lives.

These are the little things, the small choices, the habits we form when we can; the things that make us feel more connected to the earth, to our food, to our friends family and neighbors, and to each other.

Using our own two hands, we do what we can. Making foods from scratch, growing our favorite foods, keeping more out of the landfills, being conscious of the impact of our purchases - from the origin of source material to the disposal of the item.

I want to tell you all about these things: not about the choices we make, but the journey into those decisions.

What sparked me to stop using a clothes dryer, and how have we managed to keep up with that habit? Will we ever give up paper-towels for reusable cloth? Will we ever be able to make satisfying compost? How will our first CSA experience be this year? Will I ever convert our household to more natural cleaning products? Will we ever overcome the cold weather to trim back the old blackberry growth; will I ever overcome my "ugh" of the heat and truly commit to our vegetable garden? Can I be a No-Poo sort of girl? What new sorts of things can I put-up (canning)? When there is furniture to be bought, repairs to be made, vacations to be had, what sort of new information and consciousness can I bring to those activities to make them environmentally- and pocket-friendly? What about those chickens we keep talking about? Can I really make my own clothes? Will I ever find my green thumb (cuz even the houseplants cry when Able-Bodied Boyfriend leave town)?

These are the little things that make me feel like life is sustainable, that we use less, need less, and ask less of the world. They aren't for everyone and aren't intended to be. But maybe we can discuss the consideration, the process, and the information that leads to choice and change.

I want to ask: how does me, being me, affect the world?
How do you affect the world?

Much Love,
Able-Bodied Girl


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