Rebirth and Return

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In the past year and a half, my life’s journey has seen many peaks and valleys.  More so than I ever thought to be possible.  I have had the privilege of teaching an amazing group of young people who helped me to spread my wings as an educator in ways I never thought possible.  I worked with a group of individuals who have compassion and an unshakable will to do what is best for kids day in and day out, and who support one another in a way I have never before seen in a professional setting.  And I have experienced hardship and trama that has sent shock waves to the very foundation of my beliefs, and daily impacts the core of who I am.

The crazy thing about life is that there always seems to be something gleaned from the journey itself.  Throughout my time away from this blogging space, I feel I have truly found myself.  Life’s obstacles have forced me to look at what it is I truly want to do with my life, and do it.

My entire life I strove to not ruffle any feathers.  My husband always joked with me that his one worry in marrying me was that I was so incredibly passive, and he feared that throughout my life people would walk all over me.  And the fact of the matter is…He was right.  I always seemed to find myself sacrificing what I wanted, or what I thought was best, so that everyone around me would stay happy.  But something inside of me changed over the corse of the last 18 months.  I realized I owe it to myself to do what I think is best.  No matter the fall out, if I truly believe in something with every fiber of my being and in the very deepest caverns of my gut, I need to at least give it a try.

So now I find myself at a point in my life in which I have never been.  I have abandoned what others think is normal or correct and I plan to pave my own way toward a path I feel will lead myself and my family to places we never dreamt possible.  I invite you to come along with me.  Welcome back to Making of a Home!

“When you begin taking that road not normally taken—Robert Frost poem—when you begin going a different direction and you find it very rewarding and satisfying, you wake up the next morning and you suddenly say, ‘Well, what else have I been missing out on?’ “ ~Joel Salatin

Anew

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There are those times when each of us needs a breathe of new life.  When the grind of our day to day tasks feel a bit too heavy to bear, and we need an opportunity for fresh air to fill the fibers deep within our being, giving us a renewed direction and energy to guide us further on our personal journey through life.

This greatly-needed internal recharge took place this past weekend, which I must say was perfect timing for this mama who was trying her best to stay afloat in her desire to maintain a holistic household, while feeling pulled down by the current of a fast-paced, industry-driven society.  Our family made the trek to Lawrence, Kansas and attended the Mother Earth News Fair where we were allowed the wonderful opportunity to interact with over 10,000 like-minded individuals, seeking that same recharge we were so desperately needing.

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Our time was spent learning about everything from primitive drilling skills, to chicken keeping, to fermenting, to non-traditional building methods, and everything in between.

But the most wonderful moment of the weekend came in those last 60 minutes of the fair, when we were privileged enough to listen to Joel Salatin speak.  Back home when my husband or I bring up this name, people look at us with raised eye brows while muttering, “Who?” beneath their breaths.  But at the fair in Kansas, all of these people…

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not only know him, but crowded in amongst one another to listen to him articulate just what it means to be a true steward of the Earth.

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Chills formed on my arms before the presentation even began because the energy in this space was palpable.  The words Mr. Salatin greeted us with were, “It’s lonely out there isn’t it? But look around you today.  It feels a lot less lonely right now doesn’t it?”  Tears brimmed in my eyes at hearing these words because yes, I had recently been feeling so very lonely.  Lonely in my thoughts, beliefs and ways of life.  But looking around this space made me feel so whole again because I am not alone.  Not by a long shot.  There is an entire community of people out there trying their best to live more deeply, trying to raise families in a way in which they tread a bit more lightly on the Earth.  I left Kansas inspired.  I left recharged.  I left anew.

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May each of you feel a sense of rejuvenation and renewal as you move through your week.  Today I leave you with Joel Salatin’s final words of his presentation.  I hope they move you as they did me…

May all your carrots grow long and straight,

and your radishes be large and never pithy.

May the coyotes be struck blind by your pasture chickens.

May all your culinary experiments be delectably palatable.

May the rain fall gently on your fields,

the wind be always at your back,

your children rise up and call you blessed,

and may we all leave the world better than we found it.

Farm Visit

Saturday morning greeted me with the sound of rain pounding against the roof of our house.  I couldn’t believe that, yet again,  the weather was not cooperating with our planned trip.  We had been arranging to visit a nearby farmstead for over six months now, but every time the day arrived,  the weather was poor, the kids were sick, an unexpected errand popped up, and our trip was put on hold.  But this past Saturday, despite the rain that was coming down in sheets outside the window, I decided we were just going to go for it.  And I’m so very glad that we did!

This past weekend we had the absolute pleasure of visiting the Nadig family’s farm.  Although the weather was a bit chilly, the rain stopped when we arrived, and we were immediately greeted by the warmest of families we could have ever hoped to have met.  This family of seven seemed to completely embrace that which is true stewardship of the land in a way that can only help to enrich the earth and everything she has to offer.

John and his wife Charlotte have a vision to “provide healthy, chemical free food to [their] children and practice what [they] consider to be godly stewardship over the land and animals under [their] care.”  John visited Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farm and has adopted many of the farming practices that Salatin and his family practice in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

We spent the morning walking the farm and learning a great deal from John…and three of his young children, ages eight, six and five.  Let me tell you, these little ones knew more about the life cycle of plants and animals than most adults could ever hope to know in a lifetime.  My girls were immediately swept up in their discussions of life on the farm and as I assumed would happen, my five year old asked if she could stay there and live with them 🙂

After what was an amazing morning, we pulled away from the farm with 35 pounds of grass fed ground beef, eggs, beautiful hand-dyed, hand-spun wool yarn, and minds filled with information and wonderful memories.  Thank you Nadig family for a wonderful visit!