Saturday, July 25, 2009

thoughts, after oatmeal.

Apparently, I've gained 5 pounds in the 6 weeks I've been in St. Louis, despite walking a good brisk walk nearly every day. Oh, well. Must be all the carbs I've been craving for more expenditure of mental energy.

I'm very excited to come home to life in Louisville again. I'm going to clean my apartment out and sage smudge it from my subletter being there -- just give it a good airing-out and changing the energy. Then, I settle back into being home for a bit before making a few energy-saving changes in the kitchen.

I'm pretty sure I've decided on a fairly easy, low-maintenance christmas knitting plan, though I still have to map out who's getting what. For the people who aren't getting knitting, I'm not sure what they'll get, but it will be something simple and as homemade as possible. I'd love to try and incorporate fruit preservation and homemade soap/cleaners into it somehow, but we'll see what time allows. I'll have Montessori materials-making to do over the course of this coming school year, in addition to about four weeks' worth of student teaching at other Montessori schools. On my Christmas list to be from mom and dad this year, I'd like a large stockpot for ... well, stocks, and canning, a chef's knife, a rice cooker and maybe a pasta maker. One or two of those would be great, too. I get much use out of both the blender and food processor they've given me in the past.

This winter, I'll educate myself on cold frame construction, and the process of growing greens. If any of you readers have advice for me, please share it. I'm also looking to plant a blueberry or raspberry bush, though the latter might be better for where I live because my "yard" (i'll call it that for lack of a better word to describe the very small strip of grass behind my apartment building) does not get full sun enough for blueberries, I believe.

I was recently reading through some old posts from when I first started this blog about a year and five months ago. I was feeling kind of down about things, but then I started reading and realized in that 17 months, my whole attitude toward life has changed. So while I may not be in the house with chooks/garden/clothesline/craft room/huge kitchen yet, and while I may not have my finances where I want them to be, and while I may not be a stay-at-home worker just yet, I can be proud that this time has been a HUGE success in terms of laying the emotional foundation so that when all that does come -- and it will, in time, i'm sure of it -- my houses won't be built on sand. I don't want to be rich anymore, I don't want a lavish wedding. I just want to live in a peaceful, happy space where I can invite others into its warmth. Build community through the strength of a loving, frugal home. But we must remember, our homes that become this way are really just an external manifestation of the home we've built up first in our hearts. So for now, I'll work on building the home of my heart, and doing what I can externally with the little that I've got -- for it's so much more than what most of the billions of people in this world don't have. I think it's important to keep those others in your perspective whenever you shop (or decide you don't need this pile of...), whenever you spend maybe a little more than you would like on the healthiest food you can, whenever you worry that you'll never "get where you want to go." Think of those others, and give what you can toward relieving their suffering. Giving not only your time, or money, or both, but you can also give by not wasting, not hoarding, not desiring more. Breathe, and realize you already have everything you need. And if there are things that come up, learn how to make/mend/cook/sew/knit/bake/establish an interdependence system with others in your community to trade, barter -- not just things, but information. We are all of greatest resource to each other.

Thanks for letting me go a little philosophical today. It slows me to do so, it reminds me of my priorities. It reminds me how far I've come, and while i still have far to go, that it's okay to enjoy the journey as much as the destination. But do we ever truly "arrive?" I think, no, but we do always evolve. So enjoy your evolution, and don't forget to bring others along for the ride. It's a life of hard work and dedication, this simple living thing. It goes against the grain from how many, dare i say, most of our fellow humans, have begun to live. But the rewards ... well, even with the baby steps I've taken, I've reaped them. I'm overall calm, positive, optimistic, healthy, able to help others around me. I'm a better friend, I'm a better lover. Learn to live from the inside out, and you'll see, too.



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