Today, I have been reading some of the blogs I follow and there has been a recurring theme in the posts; simplifying life, reducing dependency on the mainstream, giving up, letting go and creating a sustainable homestead. This is something we've been striving towards, learning about and yearning for. I dream of hearing our dairy cow beacon to us. Walk our fields surrounded by a herd of goats. Fire up the outdoor handmade brick oven to bake the bread for the week.
The life I envision is not all homemade lemonade and fireflies. It's hardwork, devotion and a frugal simplicity that quite frankly, I'm not used to. I long to drop everything, leave it all behind and stake our new life out on our five acres. To pay for in sweat and sore muscles what I can't afford. To plan our meals by scouting out what's ripe in the garden instead of what I can coupon-match from the store. To have the abundance of wealth around me instead of in our bank account.
But those dreams and goals have to be accomplished with infiniately small baby steps. We are not the pioneers of old, strapping everything to a wagon and heading out with a wish on a sleeve that it'll work out. There are laws about living in vehicles with kids now.
Nor are we even the young, newly wedded couple that my grandparents were, building a house without permits with doors from an old box car. I grew up in that house which didn't have indoor plumbing until I was two years old. But there are laws now about acceptable materials, waste disposal and ceiling heights. (Though I will add, that house is still standing fifty some odd years later and currently being lived in.)
Right now we live in something of a state of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of pursuing our dreams and failing, fear of taking on more than we can chew. Fear that money is key and if we don't have enough we'll never survive. We even have trepidation of the animals we long for. Having never experienced them in the flesh, reality can be nerve-wracking. Fear that taking a chance or risk will have others up in arms, that their fear and ignorance will have these law-seekers taking our children from us. There are just so many, many laws regarding child welfare.
There seems to be a crux we are too afraid to cross. A point where the life we lead now splits off to the life we want to have. I feel soul-deep that to make that transition is going to take a hard sacrifice and a two-footed leap of faith. That continuing with baby steps and waiting until things are "just right" -that job that gets lined up, the raise that gets us just "that much" more money, the house gets completed, we get that tractor or the baby gets older so we can do more on the land- will delay our dreams until we're too old to accomplish them. But no matter how much I wish to have the biggest yard sale of my life, pack up what remains and move three hours north, I just can't. Even though my heart, soul, and head all scream for me to do it.
Perhaps, I'm just voicing the thoughts and feelings of all those others that came before us, those men and women that did what we want to. Perhaps they too, lived in fear.