I am back and grateful for a slower pace.I have had so much to ponder,sort through and reflect upon, my Dad,home, a new era,the returning of lost family members and where to go next.
Things with my Dad are sorting themselves out but even with that I now realize it is time to take better care of both of my parents. I was a late last baby and my folks are getting older,it is now my turn to look after them like they looked after me. I can only trust they have given me the strength and knowledge to move into this new era.My Midwife once said to me "You would not be given a task if you were not able to do it." so with this in mind I will trust I can carry on.
Over the past week I have been chewing on the question that was asked of me when I did the magazine interview that was written about in a general way; how much time goes into homesteading on a daily bases? I really could not sum it up in a neat tidy sentence,it varies from day to day depending on what needs to be done.It does take time but what life does not take time?
Most of what I do day to day takes these little bits of time here and there,little moments that are hard to add up into a total. Take the days I bake bread. People who do not bake on a regular bases think this is a time consuming task but it's not really,it takes these small bites of time.I mix the dough and while I am kneading I end up planning my day or the next thing to do. Kneading bread sets the mind to work on some meditation ,the rhythm of it just puts you in that zone,you slow down,you are a captive audience to your own mind and you have time to think. Now, once that is done the bread must rise for an hour or more,then another 5 minutes is spent to punch down the dough,back to rising.In between there is time,plenty of it. Soup can be started to bubble away,laundry folded or the floor swept.If I made a list of all the things done in a day it would look like I worked my fingers to the bone from dawn to dusk. But it is just not so,time is organized differently that is all.
Time moves at a slower pace most days with less focus on quantity but a greater focus on quality. Most days I can say, "There is always tomorrow to finish this." Somedays I am up against a deadline of my own making but the stress level is low. Then there are the times when I need to throw it all out the window.Oh well the house is a mess,there's weeding to do,gym clothes to wash and animals to tend but this over here is more pressing, fun, meaningful (because really who finds laundry meaningful?) or just a stolen moment of quiet.
The marking of time is different as well. Time is not always marked by the ticking of the clock but the turning of the seasons. The Lilac's bloom for my birthday most years, the snow has melted enough by my Dad's to be able to venture to the wilds, Red Clovers bloom for Issac's, Strawberries ripen for Sol's and Chance's marks the beginning of the winter holidays. Amongst those markers are many more seasonal things,plantings,harvests,celebrations and life lived.If the clocks of the world stopped ticking those things would still carry on in the silence. Living within seasonal time is a quiet life with plenty of time.
You see this life I live it allows for times like these. We can walk away and take care of ourselves and those we love.Time is an invention of mankind because of that we can chose to change it,slow it down,step away from it. Like any other invention we can tinker it until it becomes what we want it to be. Inventions of man can be destructive pollution's in our lives.We race with the clock for more of everything, along the way we loose sight of everything and one.Why?
Sunday the day of rest, which we did and that was good. Chance and I did spend the afternoon celebrating a coming baby,the first for our friends,the first is always the most joyful. I had started my week working through the ending parts of life not the very end but the beginning of it to find myself celebrating at the start of a new week a new life. Time was marking its self again with out a clock and maybe if I did not live this life of slowed down time I would not have noticed.
The teachings of Buddha teach that all happenings are just a moment and will pass then are gone,let them go but be mindful of the moment and learn from it. This past week has taught me a lot about time and the passing of it.Maybe this posting does not seem to be a topic for homesteading but it is because it is about one of the key points to why we call ourselves homesteaders, slowing down so we can nurture on a deeper level not only the Earth and our bodies but our relationships as well.I will remain mindful of the passing of time but no longer believe I need a clock to remind me of it because I chose to live with seasonal time just like my forefathers the true homesteaders who came before my time.