The last month has just flown by and here we are finally living full-time in our new home. Last week (the first week), was really hard and I don’t mind admitting that there were times when I questioned my decision making skills and whether I was up to the challenge before me.

I think exhaustion, after months of building up to this final move, played a big part in those feelings. After catching up on some sleep, my sense of humour has returned, as has my optimism and passion, for turning this old abandoned house into our home. The challenges before us are the same, we’re still really cold, still strip washing with a bucket, still running across the garden in the dark and all weathers to use the toilet – but now I remember why we’re here doing this.

It is a funny and enlightening thing, to have the conveniences of modern life stripped away.

I am acutely aware of how much water we are using and how often, because we have to fill a bucket to flush the toilet, fill jugs for handwashing and drinking etc, boil water for washing the dishes or ourselves. That connection to what we use is so important, it reminds me how lucky I am to have clean water to use. It makes me use that amazing resource with respect and as sparingly as possible.

Matt and I have spent so many hours outside in all weathers, trying to insulate and repair the old wooden cabin that we’re staying in, while we wait to renovate the main house. It’s been frustrating and exhausting, but I can stand back and know that we cut every piece of wood to size and hammered in every nail, to make it strong and weatherproof. It is the same deep feeling of connection that I have when I make baskets, with the plants that grow around me.

I am beginning to realise just how important this feeling of connection is to me. It guides my life choices and drives me forward.

Home-educating, home-birthing, breast-feeding, handicrafts, home-baking, dressmaking, growing veggies and flowers from seed – all of these things and many more, deepen the connections to my family and my environment. My life is richer for them and I find that I am increasingly comfortable in my own skin. I suppose, I have a greater sense of self.

My confidence in all areas of my life, is growing day by day. As I learn new skills and work with my hands, I find comfort in the knowledge that there are so many things that I can take care of myself. It is the realisation that things I might have felt I can’t do, are actually just things that I haven’t learned yet.

plaited-crocosmia

So yes, sometimes it’s hard, often I reach the end of my day, too tired to do anything but sleep. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t want to just live on the surface, I want to keep spreading my roots and making those very important connections.