A quilt stretched between friends, the needle deftly moving up and down through the fabric, stories being told, and laughter around the hoop. Hot, sudsy water splashing around wrists as the dishes are being done, looking out through the kitchen window across the pasture while the sun leisurely drops behind the hills. The cool snap of clothes before pinning them to the clothes line. The warm breeze drying the layers of fabric into a sweet smelling wardrobe. The steam rising up in an already hot kitchen, the sound of jars clicking sealed, the sight of lines of garnet and orange, of gold and green, of dills and dishes to be made artfully standing on shelves waiting for winter. A stack of firewood comforts.
We may have more modern conveniences that are supposed to help the common woman out but I believe that we have lost an elemental piece to maintaining sanity. The methodical work that used to ensue that kept the mind calm, small communities close, and days more meaningful. Now with the hustle and bustle of the day, women still work dawn to dusk, expected to work and stoke the home fires, if you will, a wily trick in my mind. Exhausted and frazzled, lying in bed unable to sleep, the average woman’s hands manicured and idle.
“It was hard work, but it was more meaningful work,” my husband reminisces. We have experienced both and plan on returning to the life of a homesteader. Days spent in an office cannot compare to the joy of watching a baby goat enter the world, or chickens rolling in the dirt in the sun, or gardens springing up to feed the soul. The daily chores, methodical work, mindful meditations, glorious sunrises, busy farmers markets, praying for winter’s rest, praying for spring’s busyness. Ah, the simple life. Homemade hot chocolate and popcorn before a fire. Board games on snowy eves. Family meals. Handmade gifts. The pride of work well done and the sweet exhaustion overcoming at bedtime. The simple life.