Thursday, June 7, 2012

Daily Life

Summer days are long. As we creep toward the solstice I try too often to stretch myself in the daylight hours. I know the night will come eventually, and these cloudy nights are deep black - eating up the lamplight. But we moved to the words in rebellion against the “Protestant work-ethic” - the life of trying to get ahead. We moved in pursuit of an older style of living, a rhythm of days and of hours. So though I do fill my days with regular chores and exciting new projects, I break up the day into manageable sections divided by tea.

My husband leaves for work at six, and except for checking my pigs and chickens, I spend the early hours indoors drinking coffee and neatening the yurt. Later in the morning, while Petka naps to Suzanne Nance’s classical selections, I sit down beneath the dome to write, to plan my week, pay bills, and think. When she wakes, Petka and I collect eggs and send the chickens out into the yard. She likes eggs with bread and chives at lunch, I like green tea and Taproot. On sunny days we’re outside building our front garden, visiting the pigs, tending vegetables and walking down to collect our letters. On our last sunny day, Yarrow played with sticks among the blueberries while I primed the bookshelf. She’s happiest outdoors, even in the rain she’d rather be greeting her pigs, smiling shyly at toads, or raking the dirt into piles with stones and sticks all around.

Afternoon tea, with my husband home, is the hardest to plan consistently. I try to fix it will Petka rests, but too often I’m tempted by other things - by the dirt outside or the wheel in the kitchen. I’m too easily distracted; still, we manage. And a chance for a sit down conversation is a common part of our evening - even if it is conversation over the sounds of barking and crying, or before a date with the rototiller. The sun won’t go down before 8:30 now, and we’ve plenty of time to enjoy the primary good of our lifestyle: community. Off the grid, away in the woods we build a domestic church in the monastic style - ora et labora.

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