So, ummm….yeah. Hi! It’s been a while. Almost 2 years! That went by fast.
From the outside, not much has changed. Skipper and I are still here on our small homestead. We are still growing food, still raising chickens. I’m still teaching; he’s still building. But on the inside…well. Did I mention that I turned 40? I told a friend the other day, “I’m not exactly sure what happened, but somehow, between the years of 39 and 42, I feel like I’ve become a totally different person!” Ok, not really. I’ve read through some of my old posts in preparation for coming back online, and I was pleasantly surprised that I am actually quite consistent in my values and voice. Kinda neat to see.
But the last couple of years have felt like both a huge and deep process of re-learning who am I in the world (and who I would like to be) and a huge, deeply satisfying shedding of beliefs, fears, and habits that I’ve been carrying for the last 20 years. I’ve questioned and wrestled with life, death, and Everything over the past few years. And, of course, the journey isn’t over. But I’m feeling like I’m ready to embrace my voice as it is now, to really step forward. And blogging again feels like the right way to do that.
When last I was writing, I was also still wrestling with the implications of my research into serious climate change and resource scarcity. I taught my course on these issues for 3 years, and worked through the issues again and again alongside my students. It feels like it’s taken these last years to really work through my fear, the implications, more fear and grief, practical considerations…and to some degree, come out the other side. That’s not a process that’s over either, of course, but I feel like I’ve regained my footing in the world as it is, and I have some conclusions to share in the weeks and years to come.
I’ve also, in these last years, spent a huge amount of time online, reading other people’s blogs. It’s been sad to see some favorite blogs go dormant and wonderful to discover some new ones. I feel like I was part of an explosion of women’s voices online in the blogosphere there for a while. And then, I suspect, many of us had to face the blogging crossroads: maintaining an active, well-produced, beautifully photographed, regularly contributed to blog is equivalent to a part-time (at least!) job. So for some, it became one. For others, it had to end. But I’m also seeing a new, middle ground open up, and I’m hoping that’s where this will take me now: a spontaneously contributed to (we’ll see if a pattern emerges 🙂 ), occasionally photographed, but still read and valued comfortable space. I do so much reading of other people’s blogs that it seems only fair I start contributing again.
And, all of that reading and thinking has helped me to feel a little more concrete about my purpose here. When I started the blog, I was under-employed and interested in free-lance writing, particularly about food and our local food movement. Then I started thinking seriously about farming and other career possibilities. Then my job stabilized, then I started going more deeply into sustainability…
But now I see a new need, a space that needs more voices. It’s the space I’m in right now: inhabiting and embracing the messy balancing act of life on the so-called “undulating plateau” of this Transition time on the domestic front lines. It’s the space that women traditionally occupy: the home, the garden, the home economics, our relationships and emotions. But I’m (possibly like you) navigating all these through the deeply conflicted pull between environmental sustainability and the requirements of daily life in the industrial economy. I think we need more women online talking about what this life really looks like, in all of its untidy, stretched-thin, emotional, financial, and time challenges. It would be great to feel more solidarity around the trade-offs and the imperfections, while continuing to find the beauty and the creativity and to celebrate the resourcefulness. I’ve decided that if I would like to see more of this online, then I’d better start by sharing my own stuff. Here goes!