Friday, October 5, 2012

Rediscovering Home

I'm sitting at my sewing table to type this, looking out onto our deck, and beyond that our (somewhat dishevelled) front garden, and beyond that, the green rolling hills that mark the beginning of the Avon Valley. It is a warm and sunny day today, but I am wondering if the weather is fooling us again, and one last cold snap is around the corner. Pretty soon the hills will change from rolling green to sunburnt brown, the blossoms will fade from the fruit trees and summer fruits will take their place.

This time of the year brings with it its own set of tasks and rhythms. We have been busy clearing old piles of mulch, wood and scrap tin left by the previous owners, preparing for snake season. The old Hills Hoist we got from Gumtree has been cemented in, ready for the warm weather to hit so my washing can finally be dried in the sun. Garden beds have been dug out, and are waiting for the last of our spring planting to be laid out. Corn and beans are in, as well as potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries, radishes, spinach.... and our ever expanding line up of young fruit trees are waiting to be transplanted into the ground out of their pots. Compost beds have been built, as the compost and mulch will get our gardens through a long, hot summer without using too much water. The water tank is connected and will be used purely for the gardens (we are hoping for another couple of days of rain, though, to fill it!)

We have our first brood of quail chicks, now. Nath is looking forward to raising them up for their eggs and their meat, but for now they are just cute little balls of feathers running around the bottom of a cage. When they are a bit older, they will live in a large run, but a cage is fine for now. We also have some new unsexed young chickens. The girls will join our layers and the boys will end up in the pot.

I have been busy preparing for Miya's fifth birthday party next weekend. She is having a garden tea party, and there is much to do to get our garden in order. I have sewn fifteen metres of bunting to string up, and have cleared the local opshops of their teacups and saucers. Next week, I will be busily baking little cakes, biscuits and quiches for the day. Miya has invited ten or twelve little friends over, some new and some old, and is very excited.

All this work around the home helps remind me of what is truly important in life. I feel like I lost my way for a bit there, being on holidays, then moving house immediately upon our return. Money has been thoughtlessly spent, food is not being planned and enjoyed the way it should be. This seasonal change of rhythm reminds me to take an inward breath in my daily life, and focus back in on home and the family. To slow down (again - isn't it funny how easy it is to hasten pace with the rest of the world, and how difficult it can be to slow our lives down when they get too frantic?) and enjoy just.... being.

I have made a few decisions, the last couple of days. I miss my buying ban, and the freedom it gave me from being weighted down by stuff. I am revisiting my buying hierarchy:
  • Make do
  • Make
  • Freecycle/Pay It Forward
  • Secondhand
  • New, but locally handmade
  • New, but Australian made and/or Fairtrade
  • New, made overseas, but Fairtrade and supporting communities.
I am also returning to my food philosophy of eating only unprocessed food. This has been tricky. I have definitely grown used to not-good-food-choices in recent weeks.

And, I am staying home more. Rediscovering home, the place of my soul's content. Rediscovering rest, and the joy of completing the little tasks that keep this home ticking over. Finding time to create, and play, and read.

Kind of like spring cleaning for the soul.

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