Saturday, October 31, 2009
What is it about this life that brings such a sense of both satisfaction and desire? Why am I pleased when I consider the pile of wood my husband carried in, or the simple undyed playdough I made for my son? Why do I find Jem’s little woollen slippers more attractive upon his feet than branded sneakers, or those same feet bare on the grass instead of upon concrete, or those toes grimey with the dirt of exploration instead of...well, you get the picture.
I feel the need to ask myself these things. For some reason I am intensely drawn to the idea of growing food, creating clothing, eating ...differently, and living with less than I am comfortable. But why? Why is this attractive to me? Why does my stomach get all churny and funny when I read about housing hens or knitting little-boy-sweaters or creating something beautiful out of nothing? In so many ways it just doesn’t make sense. I mean, I grew up in an age and culture where the end goal of education and development was (seemingly) to acquire a career which would generate a steady and increasing income and allow me the comforts I desired. Even now, my parents yearn for more materials, less inconvenience, more comfort. Lettered names, square footage, branded clothes; these all remain incredibly attractive to people everywhere, and in some ways I could see how I could be drawn back into those cravings. Yet, this other life causes a greater hunger and a greater hope of happiness.
I keep picturing us finally moving into our little cabin. I see J reading by the fire, Jem with a small crate of toys, and me, just living; breathing without panic, content and at peace. I see glass jars with lentils and beans and grain, fresh bread and eggs, wooden toys, linen skirts, woollen sweaters. I sense the absence of fear; fear of conflict, fear of loss, fear of not getting that thing or the other, or losing it all. I see our family with a sense of wholeness and health, willing to live with what we are given and without a lust for more. I do not want to return to asphalt and malls and traffic. I don’t trust myself, yet, to act rightly within reach of all those things I once craved and clung to as I recognize that I am so easily distracted and convinced.
I am drawn to this other life. I am drawn to the hope of health and beauty and harmony. I am drawn to that picture of a life in which I can learn to seek what is good. I want it to be real. I want it to be true.
Dum spiro espero. While I breathe I hope.