J is sitting on the harvest net and plays with black olives. She places them in the nearly full basket, then tries to eat one, pulls a grimace, offers me one, I refuse - but thank you so much -, then takes one out of the basket, then another one, then turns the basket over.
Building happened during summer! We worked on stone beds around the house to help shape the space and create a more lively outdoors, as well as more sitting areas - yay! Remember the ruin we took stones from last year? We came back once again for material (once? What am I saying? We must have went there over 40 times with our old rusty wheelbarrow). With all the people we hosted this summer, and the experience from last year's, building this one was almost fun.
And since we have our hands on it anyway, let's remake the old one just across. - Sam
And since there are new walls, let me climb them all. - Jade (and fall once, not pictured)
Do you see the curvy corner on the right one? That's where our future cob oven will be! There's a hole in there, inside the bed, which will be filled with stones and whatever old hard material we can find, to make a stable base. And then, on top of it, we start the cob construction. We're still looking for models and different ways of doing it. I personally love the way Dreamweavers Collective shape their ovens and the light touch to it. But anyway, we sense that will be something for next spring.
For now, we'll fill the bed on the right with aromatics, loads of lavender and a tree in the center.
Thank you so much to all the wonderful people who helped us doing this! It's a special feeling to live in a place that carries the work and intention of so many different persons ♥
We've been having our best summer since being here, by far! Lovely groups of volunteers are passing and bringing an amazing renewed energy to this place. Just what we needed, after feeling homesick (remember that post?) and quite isolated from cool folks.
I've been discovering a new routine - God knows how hard routines are when babies are around. I wake up very early with Jade and leave her and Sam in bed, as I walk to the compost toilet to empty her potty (yeah, that whole elimination communication thang). I bring a small basket along and, on the way back to the house, make a whole garden tour and the morning harvest. These moments, while the sun hasn't yet shone upon the garden, the air is chill and the soil is wet under my bare feet, have revealed such peace and clarity.
The fire is started, coffee is milled and mint leaves for tea are picked. People start gathering under the pergola and preparing breakfast together.
One of the best things of having people passing by is how easily you can actually see the result of what you're working on. And how you actually do the things you had only planned to do someday, or that would have taken you a week to complete, and in one morning is actually ready. And how all this different persons leave something behind after their stay. A new chicken coop, and new garden bed, seeds to prosper, their handwriting on the blackboard.
OK, that's actually my handwriting planning the autumn crops.
On full moon we were nine. After dinner we wrapped ourselves and blankets and hiked to the very top of the mountain. An hour and a half walking merely by the bright moon leads us to a magical place, from which we can see only mountains and mountains bathed in moonlight, all the way around oneself. Darkness and silver, and tiny disperse sparkles of light - villages. The wind is harsh against our faces, and we gaze at the moon and feel grateful, oh so grateful, for being here, now. We got home to cookies, after.
Did I tell you the sunflowers are blooming? Beautiful, bountiful summer!
As I write this, there's sweet guitar playing coming from downstairs. Jade, Sam and the cat nap together. We feel happy and contented, with a warm feeling of home within.
Our car is breaking again and we aren't even completely stressed out by that
I hope you're having a good summer too! Would love to know what you've been up to.
Do you ever get this strange, belly-tickling feeling, that you're not sure where "home" is? That you may not be in the right place, but don't know which place that may be, and at the same time can't really afford moving wherever that would be? And therefore you lose your motivation to invest time and energy on working where you already are, upon the possibility of moving out sometime -soon, you hope? Yeah, that's pretty much how we were feeling, in a very constant way, until not so long ago.
Maybe you can't tell from our pictures - maybe not at all, since some people got the idea we live very far away from others -, but we live in a village inhabited by 20 old people! And guess what, the village is crossed by a national road (it doesn't have lots of movement, but it's still an asphalted road with crazy drivers sometimes). Our closest friends live a 30 minute car drive away. And there are no like-minded folks, children or cool associations within a sane distance to drive regularly. What I mean to tell you is that, altogether, these factors make us doubt if this is the perfect place for us, for raising our family and make long-term plans.
I dream awake very often, this dream often includes a piece of land at dusk, away from any city or village, accessed by a dirtroad. It includes a round wooden house, two goats, happy chickens that don't need fences because of the neighbours' gardens, and lots of kids running around naked. In my dream there are friends living just as far away as a quick bike ride can be, friends with whom we produce vegetables, or honey, or medicinal magic potions, or something else we sell at markets. So yes, that is my dream. It is quite different from the situation we live in currently.
Winter is a tricky season, and one can't fully grasp it when living in a city, following timetables that don't change according to the seasons or daylight. Wintertime makes you almost hibernate, feel sad sometimes and question things. And this winter we spent so long in the bed & breakfast, one hour away from us, working and putting so much energy into making it run. Now something you can tell from the pictures is that it is very different from our little house. Picture winter, feeling disappointed about your house, and going there once a week or even less sometimes, to spend the time indoors because there's a storm outside. You just don't feel like staying in there, but at the same time it's your home.
Enough of winter - then Spring came, and the frost melted, and it's time to make a garden again. And we decided together that, with the work there's still to do in the Bnb, it's ok to be separate sometimes - so, as Sam keeps on working, I stay with Jade at the homestead, which we have no doubts it's the best place for her to be now. And that, alongside with the sun coming out, made all the difference. Slowly, it started to make our house feel like "home" again. Made us both feel motivated once more to deep-dive into keeping the house, mowing the land, going to the market to get plants, seed everything we got in stock, making the outdoors beautiful again... And re-pick our outdoor kitchen/greehouse plan!
Moral of the story is, according to me, that one makes home wherever they are. That thinking about an abstract future when "we'll finally be satisfied" keeps us from focusing in the present when we can already work towards satisfaction and happiness. Home can be a land, an apartment, a tent, a large van. Home is your safe place, the place where you're happy, and I'm pretty sure that place is something that lays deep within each one.
We don't know where we'll be in the future, when that dream up there will become real nor if it will. But meanwhile we intend to take care of the present and make it a pleasant moment to live in.
Now that was some food for though. I'd love if you shared your reflections on "home" over here or on my instagram, which seems to have a lot more movement these days than this tiny, but more honest, corner.
Happy May to you all, I hope you had a beautiful Beltane celebration yesterday ♥
And this is how we start our blog! Sharing the development of a small construction, that counted with the help of an amazing group of volunteers, friends and a hand (and tractor) from our neighbour.
From the very beggining to the very end, it took more than a month to get ready, due to all the different phases - selecting and collecting stones, building the wall (that was lots of work and time!), cutting some trees for the structure and assembling it all together, and finally isolating the beams that sustain it.
It's beautiful to see things take shape!
Thank you ♥