Tuesday, September 22, 2009

This Is A Test

Yesterday morning as I stood at the sink with a vegetable scrubber in one hand and a large, garden-fresh tomato in the other, the radio tuned to NPR and my son playing in the living room, I realized I was being tested. I was surrounded by counterfuls of 50 muddy tomatoes, a bag of dirty twisted carrots, a dozen dull red beets, a few bunches of concord grapes, a quart jar each of grape and black currant juice, and a few remaining canning jars, already depleted by my apple butter stint. All this produce equaled one thing: harvest time. Was I up to the task?

I have longed for and dreamed of having my own garden, my own land, my own piece of earth to work how I please. And a small bite of that reality was sitting on my counters. No, I don't have that piece of land to call my own and no, I didn't even have that big garden. But, through the graciousness of relatives and friends, I have been able to take part in the blessings of their harvest by turning their produce into food for my family with some extra to share with friends. It has been difficult to stay on top of the abundance. I am ashamed to say that there has been some waste. I guess I never realized how much planning it takes to use everything you have - to use the thrift factor too. If I had a very large garden, I think at this point in my life I would be completely overwhelmed.

I think we live in a culture that always has to have the new and to have it now. I find it so easy to be sucked into the consuming culture when all I really desperately want is to slow down and use the blessings and talents I've been given to create a simple, comfortable home for my family. And here was the reality on a very small scale. If I really do make that second batch of salsa, can the grape and black currant jellies, juice the carrots, and pickle the beets, will I have passed the test? I think so. Homesteading isn't necessarily being on that homestead at the end of the road, it's having little successes along the way. Little steps at a time that get me toward that goal, and steps that also help me enjoy myself along the way. When I do get to that dream spot of land, I'll have already honed the skills that will make my homesteading dream a success.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...