Attempting Simplicity

When was the last time you put your feet up, your head down, and just listened to the world around you (WITHOUT traffic noise)? When was the last time you stood in the rain, unconcerned about the sudden transparency of your shirt, and simply basked in the glory of that natural wonder? How about the last time you sat at a fire in the evening, listening to the crackling logs and watching the stars overhead as they passed by? Have you ever stepped outside on a winter morning to see fresh snow, gasping at the shock of cold air in your lungs before wondering at the way it refreshed and awakened you in the silent stillness of the cold morning?

Every one of these thoughts gives me a kind of nostalgia akin to homesickness. For years I have been scraping by; my days filled with work and worry, stress and tight schedules. I want to be able to sit back and relax on my porch, watch a thunderstorm from the comfort of my rocking chair without being afraid that the power will go out (not because it wont, but because I don’t care if it does). I want to be able to spend my time cultivating my garden and doting on my animals, instead of trying to eek out time during the day just to go out and water or get them fed. I want to be able to plant seeds on a good morning when the sky is clear and the air is cool, and not have to “schedule” which day to plant on because my work schedule has me away from home every day EXCEPT the one with the worst weather of the week, for the entirety of March and April. (This actually happened this year. Our poor garden really suffered for it.)

I dream of having my own land, with a house grown up from the timber that was harvested right there, planted far enough away from the main road that traffic noise is drowned out by the surrounding flora and fauna; a home with an indoor AND an outdoor kitchen, where I can cook home made bread and pizza with burning wood in the summer without making the inside of my home 300 degrees. A house with a long front porch for sitting on and enjoying the afternoon on a beautiful Autumn day. Land where I can plant apple trees and harvest my own maple syrup; where I can have as many chickens as I damn well please and no neighbor will complain about my boisterous rooster alarm clocks.

“Dream BIG”, I was told when I was young. I even had a poster in my room with the words of Norman Vaughan; “Young and old, dream big; dream big and dare to fail”.

Although my dreams changed over the years (I’m sure by the age of 15 I had realized I couldn’t be a lion tamer, rock star, AND a teacher), “dream big” was always in my thoughts. Work your hardest, try your best, and you can achieve anything, right?

But life doesn’t always work like that. Sometimes you do your very best and still fail to achieve your goals. This doesn’t mean we should give up, however (although it often feels like it’s the only option). One of the great things about having big dreams is that they are YOURS, and you can change them at any time.

Right now I’m working toward MY dream, with my family. We’ve began our journey 4 years ago, and along the way we’re all trying new things, and working toward both small and big goals. Follow along as I blog our triumphs and our failures, and hopefully our journey will help you on yours.

This is Attempting Simplicity…because life shouldn’t be so hard.