In our grand division of homestead labor, goat care has fallen squarely on the shoulders of my husband in the past year or two. I still spend time with the goats, and really look forward to the day when I can resume my share of their care, but for now I’m focusing my energy on other homestead chores. So it took me by surprise to help put the goats away last night and look over to see Sable’s stall empty. Even though we had all gone as a family to bring Sable to her new home (a lovely homestead where two of her half-sisters already live), somehow the sight of the empty stall was so viscerally real and final.
These weeks are full of goodbyes – teary goodbyes to friends that we won’t see again, transporting goats to new homes, bringing our cat to live with a friend (who was the cat’s original owner 10 years ago), packing items in boxes knowing that we won’t open them for months or years, and tossing books and clothes that we don’t want to move across country. Saying goodbye to the comfortable and familiar, to the routine and habitual, to this beautiful and wonderful land and home.
Entering into the space of possibility, potential and the discomfort of the unknown is downright scary! I have been having a really hard time with this transition, imagining all sorts of 11th hour strategies to remain here in our little home. Yet although my heart really truly wants to stay, my gut somehow knows this is not the answer.
To arrive at the decision to move to Missouri (a two year-long, fairly agonizing process), our family has visited the MO land three times. We have had countless conversations with friends, consulted the I-Ching, met twice with a tarot reader, and made endless lists and flow charts (yes – flowcharts!!). Ultimately, the decision has rested on a vision of what we want to create in our lives. Some of the guiding principles include:
- We want to lovingly and mindfully create a homestead that will nurture our family with food, shelter, and beauty.
- In order to fully invest in our homestead, we choose to be HOME, and not working full-time at off-site jobs.
- We purchased a piece of land outright, so we have no debt, and we will build small, beautiful, and functional living spaces as funds become available.
- We wish to be surrounded by a community that shares our values and will support us in our vision.
- We want to live within walking distance of other families and friends with whom we can share the joys and challenges of raising children.
What has been so difficult in this process is that we already have so many of these gifts here in Oregon. We are blessed with wonderful friends and neighbors in a truly beautiful community.
I don’t know if we’re making the right decision. The only way we’ll truly know is to go to Missouri and give it a try. What I do know is that we are going to get the opportunity to challenge ourselves in ways that I never imagined. As my sweet friend told me the other day, “the journey is the prize.”
So friends, I am going to sign off this blog for the next two or three weeks while I concentrate on packing, moving, and settling into our new (temporary) home. I will continue to post updates on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/HomesteadHoneyWebsite?ref=hl and I anticipate returning to this space in mid-October.
Thank you for joining me on this journey, and I look forward to connecting in the near future!