Abuse, Alcoholism, Animals, Creativity, Faith, Gratitude, Herbs, Homesteading, Nature, Organic, Religion, Spirituality, Writing

Is it Wasted Time or Time Well-Spent?

I have spent the better part of this morning searching through a directory of towns in Maine for a list of towns with the least amount of population. I’m looking for unorganized townships with less than 500 people. Next, will be to research their locations. If I decide to relocate, I would prefer being near the ocean. Not necessarily a waterfront property; they tend to be grossly over-priced, but I would like to be within shouting distance of the ocean…or a lake. Somewhere that I can plunk a canoe down in the water and paddle away. Is that possible with goats in tow (not in the canoe but farming in a coastal region)? Or are coastal towns all zoned into tourist trap submission? These are things I am hoping to find out. The mingled scents of clean farm animals and salty sea air would be the sweetest perfumes. And the cry of a gull amidst a chorus of bleats and neighs and cock-a-doodle-doo, the sweetest of songs. This will be my paradise here on earth. If I can find it. And if I can afford it when I do.

As I type this I am also thinking of all the improvements I’d like to make here on this little one-acre homestead in northeastern Connecticut. Being influenced by the folks at Path to Freedom (please Google for more information) in knowing that it is possible to have a sustainable homestead on a smaller piece of land–i.e. quoting Jules Dervaes in their excellent film, “Homegrown Revolution”, I decided years ago to “start with what I have”. But I worry about things like carbon monoxide from Route 6 settling on my herbs and vegetables, and the increased development of this Quiet Corner town. It’s becoming too commercial and yet the job market is scarce, public transport is so poorly planned as to be almost non-existent, and, despite being on this main Interstate, I feel like an island unto myself anyway. There is little by way of a “community” feeling.

Of course, I do little to encourage that community feeling. My yard is always overgrown. When someone knocks at the door, I seldom answer–unless I’m expecting someone. And I walk around with the feeling that I’m sitting in a fish bowl. The Thujas bordering the front of the house offer a great privacy screen but it is not enough; I’m that eternal hermit-in-the-woods. Not exactly the most encouraging attitude for an ordained minister but I crave solitude like the flowers crave sun and rain. It’s one of the reasons I’ve had such a difficult time adjusting to having a roommate–even though that roommate is Mom.

Whine, whine, whine…

Or maybe that should be wine, wine, WINE!

No, I seldom partake of the latter. Having felt the effects of alcoholism many times as a child–from watching a beloved grandfather vomiting blood each morning, and losing him all too early, to a stepfather’s drunken rampages and pedophilia–I’ll take the fruit of the vine in the form of some organic grape juice instead. (Albeit, I wouldn’t say, “No!” to a wee drop of mead though…)

As for the whining? The best remedy is gratitude. No, I am not where I really want to be. And I am feeling the shifts everywhere in my life right now, shifts that say change is coming and it is time to move on, move forward, get out of this rut that I’ve been “stuck” in for the last several years. Despite my hermit-in-the-woods mentality–which is another side effect of having grown up with alcoholism–I do desire that sense of community, that sense of connection with others. But I also want that oasis in the middle of it all, that place of quiet retreat where I can recharge my batteries–literally and figuratively speaking. We all need that.

So, as I draw a ragged deep breath and prepare to send Wendy Whiner on her way again, I make a short list of all of things I am grateful for right here and now:

I am grateful for the air I breathe, the water I drink, a roof overhead, the food on my plate and the clothes on my back.
I am grateful for my roommate, my Mom; grateful that I am fortunate enough to still have my Mom with me.
I am grateful for family and friends, my community of loved ones–whether they live in this Quiet Corner or not.
I am grateful for all of the myriad animals that share this home with me–both domestic and wild.
I am grateful for the gifts from God of being able to write, sing, play music, paint, draw, create and homestead.
I am grateful for my job, for being employed, and for the wonderful co-workers who share that part of my week with me.
I am grateful for my garden, for the herbs, fruits and vegetables growing there.

And I am grateful, most of all, for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who died for my sins and gave me everlasting life.

Now what the heck was I whining about?

May God bless you & keep you!

Works Cited

“Homegrown Revolution Quotes.” Quotes.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2016. Web. 22 Sep. 2016 .

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