This last year has a period for reclaiming myself. The past year I walked away from everything of old and explored the world outside. For the past few weeks I have been thinking about my household, my role, and how I would like to live my life. Although there are parts of my old life that were difficult and that I do not want to return to, I want to return to many of my old ways: canning, cookstove, cheese and yogurt making, bread…. I do not want to return to carrying 60-70 gallons of water a day (although I may have to — for the goats and pigs).
The period was, in many ways, good for me. You see, for a time I didn’t know what I was doing or why I was doing it. Was living an AMish lifestyle truly my choice, or was it deemed to be the way we lived? Was it because I wanted to live simply or because my (now ex spouse) was afraid of a post-apocalyptic life? In many ways I don’t know which life it was then, but I do know that I miss many aspect of that life now.
It started with the cookstove. Recently, my ex told me that the people he has living in the old house (renters) are using the wood cookstove. I broke into tears. That stove was the heart of the home. I loved that stove. I loved heating and cooking and dancing with the wood and flame. I missed the slow food and the slow life. I missed all of it (not him). That is when I realized that part of that life was me. It was meant for me. I was meant for it. That eagerness to live differently: slowly, simply, and intentionally was at the core of my person. It is what I love about baking (sidenote: I baked professionally for about 5 months). Baking is part science and part art. So is living as we did when we were “going Amish.”
I spoke to my partner today and we agreed to work toward living that way again. I am done with the “recovery” year of my life and ready to move on to live intentionally — the way we want to live, rather than how we feel that we need to live. C is on the lookout for a cookstove.