This is Our Lady of the Harvest. More about why she is here later- sorry it is a thumbnail picture.*
We bought our land here in 1989, and moved onto it in 1990, with only our hands as our tools- not many city folks care to do what we do- it actually involves doing some physical labor, getting your hands dirty, living with no indoor plumbing for a couple of years and dirt under your fingernails for months on end. The girls did enjoy their muck bucket bath tub when they were little though.*
First the cabin came, then an outbuilding for the goats and then more outbuildings...if you cannot stand living in what city folks term 'a big nasty mess', then please don't do what we did- It is like doing the mortgage trip thing in very slow motion- the very same thing as, but almost to the point of entropy. On the other hand, if you want to have a satisfied soul at the end of the day, along with no mortgage, total creative control, not 'beholden-to' anyone for anything to do with your property other than yearly land taxes, then the rural sustainable lifestyle may be for you.
And you may find that you are a different person than you thought you were.*
Walking away from the matrix of the modern day 'normal' 'get it and spend it', credit card lifestyle is well....more 'normal' than the afore mentioned 'normal' lifestyle. Keep in mind that the word 'normal' is a judging word- a word that denotes rather a lack of courage. Besides, when one gets a comment like 'you have a pioneer spirit' from an MBE recipent (Member of the British Empire) who barely knows you and a comment of 'Eeeewwww!' from family, well who are you going to listen to? 'Normal' is in the eye of the beholder- what is normal for me may not be normal for you, but each form is just as valid and wholesome to each person.
After all, no farms = no food.*
To the city folks that go 'Eeeewwww!', I usually say ' are you going to stand there complaining and critisizing or are you going to pick up a hammer and pound a few nails with me?' These folks really need to get their heads wrapped around Habitat for Humanity or Heiffer Project. Or even the Manna Food Bank. If you can't pound nails, then learn to use a measuring tape and marker to measure the length on a 2x4 for the person who cuts the wood!*
Still, at the end of the day, I have so much to be thankful for.*
Each year, we do a farm blessing. Father Andreas comes out to bless the farm and the animals- he's excited about blessing our tractor- he says he's so happy to be a country priest. We have a potluck lunch after the blessing- which takes place after Pascha, Easter for all you heterodox and pagans. :-) This year, we will be holding it on the future site of Our Lady of the Woods Chapel- a place for all people to experience the Mother of God in all her forms. Our Lady of the Harvest will be there, along with Kwan Yin, the Bodhisaatva of Compassion and Our Lady of Einsiedlin (Switzerland), one of the Black Madonnas of Europe. The name Einsiedlin means 'Place of the Hermit'- I went there during a band trip with the Dobyns-Bennett HS band in 1972- the Cathedral there is enormous and beautiful. It is the first place in my life that I met the Living Lady in one of her myriad and eternal forms.
The foundation for the Chapel is there, but it needs work before I would trust people on the platform. I'll blog more about this as we come closer to the date, as yet undecided, but after Pascha, so I can cook!
Have a blessed Oestarra, ya'll! Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!