I just need to say how good I feel today. Even CSG can’t shake it – I have this solid sense of joy and abundance and love for everything. Flaky? Absolutely. Do I care? Absolutely not.
This morning (as happens many mornings) I watched the sun rise over our mountain and the forest wake up. Felice’s elderly, 2-toothed cat was draped over my lap, purring like a lawnmower. After a cup of tea (we’ve gone a bit mad with teas, we do still buy black tea, but there’s also home-grown comfrey, nettle, mint, lemon balm, lemon myrtle etc), I watched the chooks explore the new garden area we’ve let them in to. It’s such a pleasure to watch healthy, happy chooks being chickens. Makes me smile. They have this intriguing (and entertaining) combination of characteristics: half evil toddler and half dignified matron. Except for Rodney, who is half knight-in-shining-armour, and half randy adolescent. Lovely to watch them discover the big patch of four-leaf allseed and get stuck in, with lots of excited clucking and bocking.
The garden is bountiful – the last of the Alban Eiler-planted tomatoes still hanging in there, and the beginnings of the sweet potato harvest just coming on. We’ve been eating the corn cobs raw straight off the stalk, and there’s plenty of greens – mizuna, rocket, lettuces, baby beetroot tops, Commelina tips, and the end of the ruby chard. The arrowroot are touching the roof of the summer garden and the yakon is nearly as high, so we’re probably OK for root vegies for a long time. We have more tamarillos than we can eat, and they taste like sweet passionfruits. And we had a harvest of bush nuts last week – our first bush nuts! It really feels like we’re getting a handle on the whole growing-our-food thing.
Thinking about it, I’ve had this sense of joy for a while now. I guess I don’t really pay attention to it anymore, it just is. So I’m not sure what triggered this sudden conscious appreciation. I did have a couple of conversations lately that might have had something to do with it. In one conversation, I heard the “self-sufficiency is hard work” dogma again. (What is it with that?) Which made me appreciate anew the difference between my current experience at The Creek and what I experienced as the harder work of my previous “proper jobs”.
In the other conversation, I was asked (not for the first time) if I was on the dole. What? Of course we’re not! What kind of self-sufficiency would that be? No judgement of anyone who is on the dole, of course, but I’ve never claimed social security of any kind. Not even Austudy.
The dole question is quite common, as if people can’t believe that it’s possible to do what we’re doing without taking handouts from other taxpayers.
And that made me consider the possibility that some people might want to work towards self-sufficiency but are trapped by their own belief in its impossibility. Do people really stay in their current job or lifestyle because self-sufficiency is outside their conception of what is possible? Well, it’s not impossible. Here we are giving it our best shot, and so far we’re doing OK. And goodness it feels good.