This is a post about good feels. But it starts with some less-than-good feels.
Do you ever get the feeling that you’ll never get “there”? You watch and read and talk about the things you want to achieve, the lifestyle you want to live, and the attitudes you want to foster, but absorbing knowledge and second hand experience from the masters can be utterly overwhelming. I’d love a slow, permaculture lifestyle; to grow an abundance of food with minimal resource wastage, to develop a strong connection with nature, the cycles of the seasons and the ebb and flow of the wind. I’d love to live a “slow” life of “rhythm”, patience, and nurture. A life less in tune with the clock and more in tune with intuition. But I’m just starting out. I live with and devote my days to caring for a toddler and growing a baby, our garden is almost entirely shaded, my handy-ness is limited, my time is stretched, and my mental health is constantly in flux. I see the wonderful garden and advice of masters like Morag Gamble from Our Permaculture Life and Kevin from Epic Gardening and Epic Urban Homestead (some of my go-to YouTube gardening channels and podcasts) and feel inspired but also utterly overwhelmed. I want what they have achieved. I want their knowledge, their resources, and their results. Some days I look into my garden strip and my heart sinks. The spinach is being annihilated by bugs, my radishes just aren’t thriving, and WHERE ARE THE SLUGS COMING FROM?! I feel defeated, I feel that I’m not ever going to be good enough at this gardening thing; there’s just too much to learn.
But this is where it gets to the good feels. It’s all about experience. Trial and error, feeling the soil, knowing the bugs, searching for the slugs, and learning to say goodbye to seedlings that just weren’t meant to be. I didn’t start my vegie patch to be “successful”, no-one is going to grade my garden or look down on me for giving it a go (and if they did, so what?)
My garden is about my journey. A pilgrimage to a less material life, an oasis where I learn to listen to the nature that I want to live more in tune with. It’s not about how big my spinach plants get before the slugs attack once more. It’s not about how much better Morag Gamble’s composting system is, and it’s certainly not about impressing anyone.
On this day, as my ladies delivered another three eggs, I realised that our egg supply is more than enough for us, and crikey we better start using them.
“Shall we make scrambie eggs for lunch?”
“Maybe we should go out to the garden and collect some spring onions.”
“Oh, and we could definitely put some spinach in the eggs. We’ll get some spinach leaves too.”
Toddler marching toward the garden.
“And some toast?”
Toddler does the recognised sign for please.
And there we have it. A surprise lunch for two made completely in our home.
Eggs from our chooks who are lovingly tended to each day; hand fed and played with, spinach and spring onion from our garden, dutifully watered and cared for each morning (even if it’s simply scratching my head when something hasn’t worked), and handmade bread from our kitchen, kneaded with love to be eaten and learned from.
I may not have a self sustaining garden, a good composting system, free ranging chickens (although we have escape artist chickens who attack the garden) and I certainly don’t have the slow rhythm to my days that allows me to tune into my intuition. But I’m on a constant, winding path of meaning-making, dipping in and out of the way less travelled. I imagine this path to be periodically changing materials; cobblestone, mossy planks, dirt, and bitumen in a random pattern, a new possible direction arising at each step. Sometimes there are directional signs, most of the time they are weather beaten or simply absent. A choose-your-own adventure type path surrounded by an ever-changing scene of woods, cities, meadows.
Where does it go? I certainly don’t know. But the present is a beautiful learning experience, each step adding to the chorus of sounds and sensations of the path.
Today’s lunch was not simply scrambie eggs.