I have started back into looking at real estate sites. Wondering what life could be like if we were to move to a farm and homestead on a larger scale. I have dreams of living somewhere off grid with a woodlot and a stream. Enough room for pastured chickens and perhaps even a jersey cow. But the dream doesn’t consider the hefty bill that comes along with it. How is it that one is to transition to a larger property when it seems like such a better idea to pay off our mortgage and stay put? The trouble is I still have this niggling feeling like we aren’t yet living the life we’re capable of. I feel like a change is on the horizon. The difficulty is waiting for its arrival. We are sending out some pretty strong intentions to move toward a homesteading life, but as I have discovered, a homestead is just as much in the mind as in the land. We are working toward making more of our own food, and preserving what we can while it is in season. There are many things we are doing to be homesteaders on half an acre. I have big plans to have chickens again in the spring and to try my hand at bee keeping next summer. All of that is available to me right here, right where we are.
I reflected on this process back in December, and came to the conclusion that we should focus on living in line with our holistic goal and everything else would fall into place. This spring and summer have been wild with activity. We have been stretched in many ways, trying to keep up with our ideas and commitments. We had given ourselves a year to decide what to do next, but here we are half way through that year feeling no less confused. The hours we’ve spent initiating and actualizing projects off of our property have been wonderful and have taught us so much about what we value. But we have not yet made time to refine our holistic goal! This has left us feeling unfocussed. The past six months have helped us to come to some clarity about what is and is not making our hearts sing. It is easy to think something is satisfying when it really isn’t, when the idea of it is, but the action is not. Rather than trying to pursue permaculture in a way that makes money, we are learning to follow our joy, hoping the money will sort itself out. People bring the most creativity and skill in the areas they have a passion for. It is lovely to read books and watch videos about other people who have found their niches and how they are making enough to live abundantly using permaculture principles. What is not yet clear is how our family will wind our way toward the self-sustaining lifestyle I crave. Many of the things we are interested in have the potential to pay the bills. But this leads to the argument for seeking financial freedom from our mortgage so that we have fewer bills to pay! The mental cycle is endless. There is always another angle to consider, another reason to return to a previous idea, keeping us circling around a decision.
When I have made big decisions in the past, it’s because I knew they were the right ones. I am not someone who leaps in quickly. I think on things for quite some time until I can’t deny that a big change is imminent. At the edge of change, somewhere deep in my gut I felt a compulsion to make it happen. I have that feeling about moving to a farm, but there is no clear way to make that happen yet. Like my approach to so many things, I don’t want to force it. When I try to make it work, I usually only end up killing the creativity. This happens all the time with my artwork. Once I get too into my head, the creative spark fizzles out and I am left second guessing and feeling anxious.
I have been checking the real estate sites, but not as frequently. I feel the action is keeping me open to the possibility of the right property coming along and sending the intention out clearly over and over again. I also view the properties with an intuitive eye now. If it doesn’t seem right, it’s not. No point in forcing the issue. There is nothing pushing us from our current home, other than a feeling of unfounded urgency. My rush is because I don’t feel like I have time to waste – the planet is withering and I feel I need to act now in order to secure my future and a future for my children. When considering the planting of fruit and nut trees that take years to produce a yield, it is discouraging to think of delaying that another five years. But what I am allowing myself to consider more and more is that the trees we plant are not just for us or our family, but they are for future generations. In this subversive act, we are planting hope for the future. I’d like to believe that any love and care we offer to our current property is an investment in the future of mankind.
Wishing our time on this property away, as we watch the weeds take over our garden beds and some food bearing crops wither, is not creating joy for us. We are not engaging our own land, but are looking elsewhere in search of something better. What we have right here is pretty awesome! If we put as much effort in here as we have been extending beyond our property, we could be enjoying the yields of this farm rather than wasting its potential while suspending it in the midst of indecision. And so we are again trying to hash out our holistic goal. We have also decided to identify the things in our life that are not bringing us joy, from the items in our home, to the way we use our time and space. Once these snags are identified we can find creative solutions to abate them or just decide to simply let them go. There may come a time when a new and big opportunity to move comes along, or necessity pushes us from this nest, but for now, we wait. And wait. And wait. Thanks to some lessons learned from a toad, it will become clear when we are to jump. For now, we can hunker down and put in some serious time here.