I often feel like I am trapped in the "metro." We used to live about 35 minutes from everything--grocery stores, malls, parks, gas stations (ok, so there were a few gas stations scattered about). But the city has crept closer and closer in over the years, bringing with it loads of unnecessary shopping (i.e. a CVS on one corner and a Walgreens right across the street where a really amazing old house used to stand--why???), and thousands of cracker-box houses crammed onto what once were beautiful rolling pastures or stately forests. There are people everywhere. Traffic is much worse. I find myself--one who lives "in the country," according to city-folk--needing a drive up to the mountains on a fairly regular basis for the sake of my serenity. I'm not a huge Skynyrd fan, but I am definitely feeling their pain right now--
I can see the concrete slowly creepin'
Lord, take me and mine before that comes...
(from "All I can do is write about it")
Whenever the stress of city life begins to taint my country heart, I have to take a step back for a moment and breathe. I remember how fortunate we are to live on a little homestead (however small) of our own, nestled into a small plot of farms and ever-rare two-acre lots. I need to walk out to the garden, pick some wild violets, climb a tree, sit in my goat pen, look at the sky, and let the fresh air wash over me for awhile. And then I slowly begin to remember that, perhaps, a country life can be lived wherever you are located--all you need is a country frame of mind. I can pine away for my dream 150 acres, or I can make the most of the two we have right now. Two acres is really a lot of land, if you think about it! Plenty for keeping a few animals and planting a few gardens.
So that's what I am going to do.
I am going to make our little homestead as farmy as possible, and learn as much as I can about raising livestock, building, growing produce, and homemaking in preparation for the day when I have a place of my own. And even in my own place doesn't turn out to be the beautiful farm of my dreams, perhaps by then I will have learned the art of country living so thoroughly that it won't really matter. :)
p.s. photos by my lovely sister Skylar.