I could do a whole blog post on the flowers that are blooming in our yard right now. And the scent! The scent! All members of my family stop during some chore or other to stick their noses into a rose, or someone asks, "What is that smell?", only to discover it comes from the lilacs on the other side of the yard. I wish I could bottle it up and send you some of the incredible smells through your computer screen!
I love this beauty and feel beyond blessed to live surrounded by so much of it. There are all the gorgeous mountains and wild creeks and rivers, of course, but we also created a lot of the beauty ourselves. When we bought our property 14 years ago, it was covered by overgrown alder trees. After logging and leveling the ground, and even before we had a bathroom and running hot water, we prepared a vegetable garden. Since I love flowers so much, I dug up large areas to plant perennial flowers. I garden for functionality AND beauty, maybe because I'm German and we like things to look nice, or maybe because it keeps me sane.
Sometimes I forget how unusual our lifestyle is out here and how differently we live than what's the norm in this society. We live simply, birthed and educate our three children at home, grow and preserve a lot of our food (vegetables, fruits, berries, dairy, meat) - not because of radical religious convictions, but because we question the status quo of what everyone seems to accept, the assumption that one follows what everyone else is doing because "that's just the way things are done".
I read this quote by Ellen Goodman earlier this week, and it sums it up: "Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it."
Please know that if you do this, I don't mean to judge you at all. All I'm trying to express is how it pisses me off that so many people are disconnected from nature and from what's really important in life, which is NOT money, consuming more, acquiring more stuff. I think that many of us are not only disconnected from nature, but also from our bodies and spirits, not wanting to or not knowing how to live fully embodied on the Earth in a respectful, sustainable, present-to-the-moment way.
I believe if more people cared about the Earth, we as a society could collectively change the direction things are going right now, since things are not going particularly well for the planet at the moment.
This is, in part, why I publish this blog: to inspire people to live a simpler, more connected, sustainable life. To pioneer a new way of taking care of the Earth, to serve as a role model of what life could be like. Even folks living in the city can do things that get them more connected to nature: grow one tomato plant in a pot, compost kitchen scraps, lean against a tree in a park to feel its life force. There's so much every single person can do do to take part in saving the earth.
Anyway. Thanks for letting me rant a little.
Let me show you some pictures that give me hope, because they illustrate that there's a different way of living. These are some members of my family, raised to love nature. Here is my middle child Luke walking one very pregnant goat back from pasture:
And this is Eva, spraying the puppy with a water gun, smelling the roses:
The kids playing on the trampoline, my husband Steve swinging Eva in a hammock in our woods, and peeking out through bamboo growing on our land.
Yours truly, surveying my kingdom, the vegetable garden, which is thriving and will provide lots and lots of food:
Some of the animals: the ducks happily waddling, the puppy playing with the chicks that are growing up fast, and a swallow hatching eggs up in the cherry tree:
Lastly, this is the tipi our friends gifted us. It will serve as sleeping quarters for the kids who will participate in our June wilderness and homesteading summer camp. There are still openings if you want to send your kids here for a weekend to learn with us. More info here.