We’re deep in the process of cultivating a more sustaining life for ourselves, while residing in our little red yurt. It’s been nearly 3 years now. Our adventure ongoing, our reckoning of what we do not know unremitting. Our lists of projects and tasks has paradoxically multiplied rather than diminished. Our hearts have grown.
Occasionally we have visitors. There are those devil-may-care sorts who see our unconventional home simply as enhanced camping and don’t mind a few days of roughing it in order to expand connection with us. There are the resolute who understand their time at the Menagerie as slowing life down to the present moment… “When hungry eat. When tired sleep.” … “Before enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water.” And too there are those of the curiosity ilk who hear of our peculiar way of living and just wish to pass through, observe, contemplate, ask questions. Early on I was irked by this last category of caller, thinking to myself “we’re not a sideshow,” “I have things to do!” Embarrassingly my juvenility shown through in such moments. These callers are gems; they embody wonder and eager inquisitiveness. Circumventing chatter of the weather and sports and narcissism, they ask muscular questions.
The most common question: “What has been hardest?” It’s quite a laden query, given that we pretty much picked ourselves up from a liberal, academic, and suburban bubble and plopped down on a rural homestead-in-the-making. The Wizard of Oz in reverse. Surprisingly though, the answers are fairly straightforward:
Each challenge is meaty enough to deserve its own post, so as a new beginning for a new year, I’ll address each one here, in succession, as time permits. Stay tuned.