I totally signed up for the simple life.
The living on the farm, living more sustainably, with a smaller ecological footprint, and feeding our family home raised, home grown, dynamically nutritious food.
Turns out there's nothing at all bloody simple about it.
I read Possum Living and while it was all very interesting, I don't think you can live without money. Well, not with children that you want to do stuff with, and (before you can afford to invest in the tanks and the solar power) if you need to pay bills, right?
Don't know about you, but I'm no good without internet. Need to pay the service provider bill. Suspect they're not so interested in bartering home grown broiler chickens.
And you know what? I bought Possum Living. Ridiculous? I could have walked the mile into town to the public library open for 4 hours once a week, put my name on the list to borrow it in six weeks, but I'm in the commercial kitchen baking for our biscuit business the day the library opens.
Oh the irony.
I can't escape the need to work for a living. Who can?!
I adored Radical Homemakers, but I cannot see how you can completely disentangle yourself from the commercial reality of needing some kind of income. Lucky you if you have no need to pay rent, or ever buy food, or school excursions or the jars to put up your preserves in.
How did we get so busy?
Can we dial it back?
When did I last lie in the paddock with a kid, looking at the clouds? That was pretty much the principle reason I moved back down here. (That and the desire to have my own dairy cow and a flock of ducks. It's been at least three weeks since I've brought up the ducks, right?! Coming soon, coming soon.)
So in a vague effort to find some kind of rhythm, some degree of calm, I make bread. I make the time to make bread.
Because when I'm flat out like a lizard drinking it's the bread making that falls by the wayside.
I find myself making sandwiches with a bought loaf of sliced bread.
And even though the scaffolding is all there, I feel like the simple life has fallen away from me. Or me from it.
The blossoms are coming out. Spring is springing.
Is there one thing that makes you feel like you're on track? Making time for breadmaking? Finding yourself in a downward dog? Looking at clouds? Holding knitting/a hammer/an instrument?
I hope there is.
I'm off to knead mine.
Because simple takes time. The homemade laundry powder, all those hankies on the line, all the from-scratch food in lunchboxes and on the dinner table, the chemical-free cleaning, the vegetable garden, the chickens and for heaven's sake, the twenty-four-hour sourdough process.
But for some reason I really really really believe in it. I believe it's a better way to live, if you can, if you're inclined.
Not-at-all-simple, but fresh out of the oven it's a little bit of awesome.