It has been awhile since I have updated folks, and I did promise myself and others that I would document this journey.
Well, so over the last few months I have managed to declutter/donate most of our belongings. It was hard, nerve wracking, and really at times gut wrenching anxiety would descend upon me. Well I made it through! We still have some things, some with us here in Washington, others back at my mother in law's house in Wisconsin. I am proud of myself for actually making it to this point.
So where are we? What are we doing? Did we buy land? Do I have a job? What's going on with Paul and Cassie?
These might be some of the questions you are asking yourselves. We are in Washington, specifically back in Centralia and living with some friends of ours who have been gracious enough to let us live in their basement with our cat. So far we are living happily together, the cats have been working out their friendship but I think they are slowly coming to an understanding.
So we are up to a few different things... we have looked at land, there are a few properties we are considering but haven't quite made up our minds on yet. I don't feel the need to rush into debt just yet, and I would like to give ourselves some time to ease into the transition. In the mean time I have started working part time in a local office with some great people. It's a small office and it is kind of neat to see how we all interact with each other. And amazingly we all get along pretty well! So that's another part of it too, is establishing a flow of income so that when/if I do request a land loan then there will be some kind of proof of our ability to pay that loan off.
Paul has been doing research, he spends a lot of time watching videos and talks from different people in many different areas... some of them including Permaculture, politics, history, Go, ... and many more. He's a sponge when it comes to learning new things. Slightly jealous at how easily it comes to him, I can learn new things and do enjoy it, but he is like water flowing down the mountainside... just going, whereas I am kind of like the pond sitting on top... to get me to flow down the mountain it takes time and some digging. :) Not sure that's exactly the right metaphor, but the point is I feel like I have to make this extra effort towards it, and for him that's his fun right there. He asks himself what he wants to do today and usually it's learning new things.
One thing I would say that I didn't anticipate is the amount of anxiety and stress this new adventure has uncovered within me. Usually new things are exciting and some grand adventure, but what we are looking at doing is very new to me. I'm a city girl, trying to become a country girl... but even more than that, trying to touch the inner earth hippie girl that I know lives inside. I can feel her, wanting to dance around barefoot but fighting against the norms she has known as this city girl. Slowly I am working through these feelings of anxiety, if I need to cry then I cry. I think eventually there will be peace... I imagine this day coming where I am going out of my little earthen house, barefoot and alive, feeling the earth beneath my feet, the air blowing through my hair, listening to the trees, the birds and the animals. Collecting eggs from the hens, milking the goats, churning the butter, tending to the plants, and just enjoying God's creation, and taking care of it as I know we should.
I also know part of the dream is to help others get to this point, help them to dream of this world that is healthy and fruitful. Help them move past the dream to reality. Everyone can grow food, whether you live in the city or the country or a small town. We live in a magnificent time of technology and information... if you have a question you just go to your phone or computer and ask Google. There are all kinds of way you can provide energy to your house, in ways you hadn't even thought of. Every little bit we do helps the people around us. If you grow a plant then maybe your neighbor notices and thinks "I could grow a plant too!" so they do... and then that passes on through the neighborhood. You plant a tree and imagine all the animals and bugs you are providing nourishment and food to. Oh it's just so exciting to think about how we are all connected... we all have a purpose, a place... Even those plants or animals people call invasive or aggressive... perhaps we need to change how we think of them. They are opportunist plants, or defending their homes from invasion. It's a beautiful process to watch unfold, and that's what we need to do more of... watching and learning.
One of my favorite things to do here is watch the chickens and ducks. I used to think of them in such simplistic ways, but they are much more complex than we think. They have personalities, needs, desires, and functions to play in this world. How can we let them be a part of our life? How can we give them things to do that help us and help them at the same time? How can we encourage that relationship to grow? Are there things I am doing that make them unable to behave in their natural manner?
Well, I guess that's a good place to end for the moment. Things to think about, there's always something. :)