For the love of…life

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Mosses and trees, leaves and stones, stone fruits and vegetable skins, sunrises and sunsets. Life is all over us. It’s in us. And amazingly, it’s for us.

I am a homesteading: man; husband; father; son; brother, and student.

My three children and my wife, Louise, are very, very much new to this life of, ‘Homesteading’. However, though we are new to it, ‘it’ has always been in us, moving through our veins, and causing us to do the things we have done for years before moving to our wonderful country home.

Homesteading is, in one-way-shape or form, a way/certain style of living life. For me at least, it is not exclusive to people specifically setting up electric cattle fences or chasing chickens with grandpa’s axe, but rather, it includes people who want to live life closer to the earth, to work with it rather than against it, to be its ally and not its enemy, to play with it and give back to it, and most importantly, to enjoy it.

The reason why I say homesteading was moving through us before we made the commitment to relocate, is because of our love, affection, and response to ‘old world’ living.

I was extraordinarily blessed (emphasis added) to spend much of my grade school summers out at my Grand-mère and Grand-père’s farm. Besides the magic I saw, I witnessed a way of living that was oddly more still, more evenly paced, more patient, and seemingly more beautiful than what I had been seeing and experiencing in the city.

An easy reference to this style of living would be my typical day’s breakfast.

It started by waking from an incredibly deep sleep. I swear it must be true, even today, country air/not city air, really deepens a person’s sleep.

In my pajamas, I’d walk from the house, barefoot, out into the grass, past the tractor, and right to the edge of my Grand-mère’s garden. The sun was rich and yellow, and the ruby jewel coloured raspberries I’d come for floated effortlessly from their stems. I picked handfuls and dropped them into an old foggy plastic ice-cream pail. I didn’t need to fill it, but I did.

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Back at the house, the ol’ classic box of Cheerios was sitting at the table, ready for me.

I poured those golden o’s into my white Corning-Ware bowl, topped them with warm raspberries, and went for the milk.

Before I woke, my Grand-père, at god knows what time, got up and milked the cows. I don’t know what he did with it all, but he made sure that some made it to the fridge for breakfast.

The orange, plastic Tupperware pitcher, the one with the ridge lined lid and push button, held the white milk from that morning’s harvest.

Before I could pour it into my cereal, cream had to be skimmed from the top. My Grand-mère ladled it off, filled up my bowl, and passed me the brown ceramic sugar dish.

I sprinkled the godly stuff all over my feast and eagerly awaited the plunge.

The end.

But wait…

This is just a story about me having breakfast—that’s it. While I did put some effort into writing this, think about what compelled and drew you into my story—it was the imagery of a world where there was no T.V. on for ‘background’ noise, no smartphone notifications, no running through the house looking for keys, no raised voices about people being late, not having lunches ready… it was a simple story about a boy who had cereal with fresh raspberries and whole milk.

What gives?

While living a homesteading life has and will come with large challenges, part of the magic is re-creating and having an imagination for the daily awareness of simple things. To see romance and beauty in the pursuit of a meal, to stop and witness the colour of our food, to give thanks for the rain that beckoned its growth, and for my life’s resources to observe it all.

This is how I homestead.

In your day-to-day, what things do you find beautiful?

Are you or someone you love the ‘homesteading’ type? Fill us in with your stories, and share with others who you think might ‘get it’ too.

David Regnier.

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