The Simple Life

rain

If you’re a mom in Oxford this week, you may be thankful for the rain. Rain in our town means soccer games are cancelled and we all get a little extra time to catch our collective breath.

This week’s rainfall has granted me time to think about our hectic lives. I definitely think there’s something to be said for simplicity. For removing the excess and setting our priorities straight.

Then a friend sent me a link to this unique performance on youtube. It’s a fabulous illustration of how getting back to basics can result in a pure and perfect balance. It also reminds us to take notice of nature’s numerous gifts. After all, there is music all around us.

bus stop

Many of you know that my family and I live two lives. One “in town” where our house is in a state of constant chaos and our daily routines involve mad rushes to soccer, piano, tumbling, volunteer obligations, work, social events, and school. We are blessed to have between 5 and 25 kids at our home 24/7, as we have been extremely lucky to live in the ideal family neighborhood.

bikes

Neighbors visit constantly with each other, everyone comes out each evening to walk and chat, and best of all, we feel safe enough to have free-range kids — a rare occurence in modern society.

afternoon play

But for a brief time each day, and nearly every weekend, we slip away to a quiet corner of the universe.

log cabin

At our log cabin in the woods, we have no television, no computer, no phone service, and no contact with the outside world. We go there to unplug. To bond as a family. To connect with nature, and in our own ways, to listen to God. There is nothing more soul stirring than an early morning walk in the forest, or an evening spent in solitude on a hammock under the stars.

nature

At our humble little farm, we grow an organic garden. We collect eggs from our happy hens, and we soon will be milking our goats (Athena and Hera).

Ad's Goat

(Ad tells Hera a secret)

baby goats

(Em learns to bottle feed the babies)

We also raise rabbits, and we have a barn cat named Mama Kitty – a rescued stray who is convinced she has landed in paradise. I have never seen a happier cat.  (This is all in addition to the golden retriever, tabby cat, gold fish, and parakeet who share our neighborhood home.)

rabbits

This farm is a place filled with special family memories. Our children roam barefoot, climb trees, and catch frogs.

catching frogs

(Em catchin’ frogs)

They plant seeds, harvest vegetables, and build fences.

bell peppers

They stack hay bales, feed the animals, and gather eggs.

eggs

Through these experiences, they have learned how to tune in to the world around them, and how to appreciate a simple life.

chick

Like the youtube video linked above, our family has found a way to simplify our lives. The result, for us, has been a pure and perfect balance.

Whether a trail on the edge of town, a private patch in your own back yard, or a cozy chair in a sunlit room…I hope everyone can find a quiet little corner each day. A private place – away from the chaos – where you can be still, and be filled.

Blessings,

j

 

 

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