the life I want

We have friends in town right now. Scott's college friend Josh and his two boys are staying with us for the weekend. The day before they came into town, Wednesday, our area of the country was struck with many tornadoes. We were blessed to survive unscathed, while huge trees fell down all over the city, downing power lines and destroying homes. Mere miles away, the destruction was even worse. Houses were missing off of hillsides, and people lost both their homes and their neighbors.
My neighbor Sara and her partner went to help with chainsaws the next day, and left their kids with me. Another friend, whose house was blessedly left standing but who had 8 trees in her yard fall, also dropped her kids off with me that day. I spent all day playing with six kids, making sandwiches, putting babies down for naps, and generally enjoying myself. As the day ended and the kids cleared out, Josh and his boys came into town.
Taking care of all these children, friends and neighbors in my house has stirred something in me, and I couldn't quite figure it out until I started reading "Radical Homemakers" by Shannon Hayes. Her book discusses the worth of domesticity (not just of women), the value of having a life centered around a home, feminism, and community. I'm only 49 pages in but am certain that this book is changing my life. It is validating and putting words to a movement within myself I've not yet put words to. I knew when I decided to stay home with my kids that it was the right thing for me, yet I've struggled to find meaning in it, living in a society and culture that only values the exchange of money. I want to self-actualize, and have considered going back to school, and trying to pursue something outside the home, but it just doesn't feel like what I truly want. Now I am beginning to understand a vision of the life I want.
I want to work in my home. I want to garden, make things from scratch, sew and mend, build and grow. I don't want to do it alone. I want a community of people who want the same. I want to barter with them, and exchange our knowledge and crafts.
Now I see why leaving Columbia was so hard. I was building that community. I was beginning to build a large circle of friends who all together created a wealth of knowledge and skills. Gardening, sewing, canning, fermenting, baking, building, repairing. Together, we could do it all, and eschew the consumerism that drives our society. As I go forward in life, I will seek community where ever I may land, and I hope to build it as I go.


SherilinR said...

i'm glad that you guys escaped that craziness that was wednesday. it'll be one that we never forget around here. our house & yard were fine, but the power was out for a day. so small in the face of what so many lost.
isn't it great when you have a sudden twitch of "this is who/where i'm meant to be"? it's like God put some pieces into place & you can see how they should fit. it's good.

Chattamama said...

I want to be in this circle or community or whatever you want to call it. I love this life! I'd love to hear more of your insights from this book as well. It's been on my Must Reads List for some time (like so many other books).

nic said...

Wow. Home, feminism and community. Sounds awesome! It also sounds like a life that is seeking/centered on eternal, rather than material things. Thumbs up!