As I write this, another layer of snow falls dreamily to the ground. It’s so high-piled now that I can scarcely see through my picture window. I’m afraid this means another day of not leaving the homestead, but instead basking in the excuse of not exercising outdoors.
Or perhaps not. In reality, I have just returned from a walk in 60 degree weather. It was spectacular, and I am a thankful woman.
In connection with the New Year, many resolutions and anti-resolutions have been surfacing around the web this week. One agreed upon consensus seems to be in motion, and that is a resolve to live a simpler life.
Unsurprisingly, I am in full support of this, and identify with the seduction of a simple lifestyle.
But as I’ve said a time or two, and those who read and live it knowingly nodded along, the simple life… well, it’s not always so simple. Especially if your pursuits find you in the middle-of-nowhere.
This post is not to discourage anyone, but to remind you, and me, that nothing is picture perfect…
For instance, when my neighbor and I meet up at the small country church for a walk, we rarely meet another soul on our trek. The occasional Hutterite, here and there, but for the most part, it’s just us. Can you handle one-on-one, uninterrupted conversations?
I can go days on the farm without human interaction, other than Country Man when he arrives home. It’s me and the cattle and the dogs and cats and tractors. Oh, I could drive the 20 miles to town, but unless you’ve made up a list of stops to make, you’re displaying a lack of frugality that is essential for country living.
All that solitude means if you’re not intentional, there’s a high chance you’ll try to find other ways to fill your soul. If you’re rooted in something good, such as faith or photography, you’ll avoid a lot of country life foibles.
The simple, quiet kind of life can strip you raw. A painful process, but the benefits of surviving through it arise at unexpected times. You discover needs in yourself you didn’t know you possessed. You will learn to be a friend by becoming the type of friend you hope for. You will embrace yourself as friend. You will experience loneliness, and with grit, will come through with a deeper level of compassion for people. It’s all purposeful.
Well, thank you for reading this first part of what I’ve learned on our South Dakota farm.
I hope you are having a great week so far. It’s January, and I am saying this: it’s just too darn nice to be inside!