I'm saying this because the reality of death loomed large this week, which made me realize that if I died tomorrow, I could honestly say that I lived my unconventional life richer and fuller than I ever thought possible. I'm living my dream, homesteading in tune with nature's rhythms, homeschooling our children and teaching them how to care for the earth. We grow a lot of our food and raise goats and lots of other livestock. I have always wanted this kind of simple life.
Sometimes I get overwhelmed by all the work, or I get impatient because I want more of my dreams to be realized faster. But then things get put back into perspective, just like it happened this week.
This week, my friend's husband (just a little older than my own husband) died in a horrific car accident. They have four children who are now fatherless. Two days after this happened, I sang with my a cappella group at a memorial service, where about a hundred people gathered to celebrate the life of a woman who used to rescue Greyhound dogs and was Mother to all. At this memorial, I ran into a friend I hadn't seen for ten years, and he told me that our mutual friend (who used to be my best friend before we had a falling out) had shot herself after a terrible battle with breast cancer that I didn't know about.
I came home that night dazed, rattled and deeply sad. First, I hugged my family. Second, I stepped out into our wilderness backyard and sucked in the sweet scent of honeysuckle that is climbing the side of our house. Third, I walked to the goat barn and sat down in the straw to play with the baby goats, who happily jumped on my lap, leapfrogged in the air and head-butted each other. Goat babies are the best cure for sadness.
I know that I could die tomorrow and that life could be over in a second. The absolute worst thought is that something terrible might happen to my kids or husband. It could happen to me, to you, to all of us, and that's why I'm saying: don't put off your dreams or live in fear. Let's live with gratitude for what we have, and let's do it with gusto.
I cannot tell you how grateful I am for these beings in my life:
And I can't tell you how grateful I am that I have mustered the courage to follow my heart, even if it seemed crazy to others - but always, always felt right in my own heart.
I am blessed with amazing people who call me friend and family. I am blessed with our piece of land that sustains us. Our garden is flourishing and will nourish us for many months.
Oh, and six baby piggies joined our homestead this week. They're loving all the fresh pasture, organic non-gmo grain and whey from my cheesemaking.
Now I would love to hear from you in the comments. What are some dreams that you have been putting off? And if you feel like it, share why. It's good to be witnessed and heard, and I witness and hear you.