It seems that things are brighter during a cold and crisp Winter day. Though Winter isn’t my favorite time of year, there are certainly aspects of it that intrigue me and that I find beautiful. On this cold Winter day (yes 20 – 30 degrees is cold for South Louisiana) Nathan and I ventured out to the homestead to try to make some progress.
From the beginning Nathan and I have had a desire to simply and enjoy life more fully. Part of this simplification is material, we are going tiny, which means we will need to divest ourselves of many of our belongings and only keep those things that are useful or deeply meaningful. Having both lived through Hurricane Katrina which resulted in the loss of all of our material possessions, this part hasn’t been very difficult. The other part of simplification is Spiritual. We intend to try to live within the cycles of Nature, within the cycles of year and what those cycles bring. This is giving us a crash course lesson in patience.
Today’s world seems to be built upon instant satisfaction and gratification, “I want what I want, and I want it now”. This can be seen almost everyday if you use email or text messaging as a method of communication. How many times have you or someone you know sent an email or text message, then sat and watched the screen for an instant reply only to get frustrated when the other party hasn’t replied within 2 minutes? Like most people in today’s society, I have been guilty of this myself.
In stark contrast to this paradigm, trying to take a step back and live within the natural cycles of life is definitely and exercise in patience. Trying to build a life around these natural cycles and having to learn such all encompassing patience gives me a completely new perspective and respect for my grandmother who was the most patient woman I have ever known, now I know why (at least in part).
If you have been following the progress of our homestead here on our blog then you know that we were moving forward very quickly. In fairly quick succession, we were able to clear the land, get the driveway and housepad completed, and dig the holes for the footers. Then Nature happened. Here in South Louisiana we experienced what was for us a rare occurance. It started snowing and snowed for more than 12 hours. This left our world covered in a beautiful white blanket that we all enjoyed. However, that same beautiful blanket also filled our footer holes with water once the snow melted. Part of living within the cycles of life in South Louisiana is also learning to understand and navigate the fact that we live in a very low part of the country and that our land is surrounded by swamps, rivers, and wetlands which means that once wet, it takes much longer to dry so we can actually get back to work. Since the snow, it has rained here on our homestead almost every other day (at least every third day). This means, we haven’t had enough time between snow and rain for the footer holes to dry at all. Yesterday, Nathan and I spent the entire day emptying the footer holes of water to allow them dry faster. With at least 7 days of bright sunny weather in our forcast we are hopeful this will help move us along. This was grueling and back breaking work, but ultimately we enjoyed the process and in the end we felt as though we had made some progress.
As I looked out across the new homestead and saw the standing water and the full footer holes, I was a little surprised. I didn’t feel discouraged or impatient. Sure, we want to get started building our new tiny house, but we also understand that we MUST learn to work within these cycles and be prepared for whatever Mother Nature brings. Instead of discouragement I felt a sense of peace and understanding, understanding that as we move closer to our new life we will be living full time in these situations and we will have to be nimble and deal with them as they come. Here in South Louisiana we can go from the rare snow storm in the Winter to a Summer with temperatures of 100 degrees and humidity of 90% or more. So, by the end of our work day yesterday, I was sore and tire, but also grateful to have been shown the all important lesson of patience.