a walk in dreamland
|October 1, 2013||Posted by Mama under homestead|
Sometimes, I need to focus on what’s in front of me. Short term goals, immediate projects, today’s or this week’s to-do list. These things help me to get work accomplished and feel good about baby steps completed, whether it be related to our homeschool, our homestead, or simply our home life.
Then other days, in order to help me find direction for these baby steps, I need to look far ahead into the future. What will our homestead look like in 2 years, 5 years, or even 10 years?
Because our house to-be is a significant step for our homestead dream, I tend to think of it it as the end goal, as if our homestead will be complete once the house is built. But that really is not the case, and thinking farther into future than that can be encouraging. For one, it clarifies in my mind that if I can see far enough into the future that there is something beyond house-building, we will in fact have a house.
Thinking about the future is also encouraging to me because it frees me up to be imaginative. We don’t really know what is going to happen in the next year let alone the next ten, but to daydream about the future allows me to create a shape of sorts for this homestead dream. If we don’t have a dream, we can’t very well have an intention, or an end goal, for our homestead.
Daydreaming is really quite necessary for the long-term development of our goals. When you have a vision for the future, short term goals develop purpose. And in this daydream of mine, our future house changes from a long term goal to a short term one.
Here are a few ideas I’ve jotted down…
- Have a more self-sustained, independent source of income, giving Papa more time on the farm. Income might come from selling extra baby farm animals, attending births as a doula (or midwife – my longterm dream), selling books, or bartering extra food for other needed items and services
- Keeping more livestock, all with a purpose which benefit the farm – rabbits, goats, maybe steer?
- A garden big enough to feed our family all year round
- Grow a wheat field
- A midwifery office at the corner of the house
- Chop and dry enough of our own wood to heat our home the whole winter
- A sheep dog and a mouser cat who both live in the barn
- Be able to wash and dry our laundry at home year-round (we’re currently talking about how we can advance in this area a little more next year)
Will all of these things happen? Probably not all of them. There is certainly some wishful thinking involved in a few of those, but where would we be without dreams? So, while I sit here in my bed, bundled up in a handmade quilt, listening to the quiet sounds of my family sleeping around me and the clock tick-tocking its way closer to 10:00 o’clock, I am thankful for many things, but at the moment I am especially thankful for the gift of dreams.
I have quoted this poem by Athie Sale Davis before, but it is so appropriate I have to share it once more ~
The Fabric We Weave
All life like a fabric is woven
And textured by things that we do;
Our dreams and our duties make patterns
Each day we start weaving anew.
Judicious and careful in planning,
Let us weave the pattern just right;
All duties will make it too heavy…
It needs a few dreams to give light.
But dreams and mere dreaming can never
Let life reach its ultimate goal;
Weave duties and dreams in a pattern
To give beauty and strength to the soul.
A lot of the daydreaming around here does revolve around our house though. I keep a binder handy just for that purpose. Whenever I find a picture in a magazine of a room I find inviting – be it the color scheme, a piece of furniture, or the arrangement of photos on the wall – I clip it out and paste it into my binder. I look forward to the day when I can take out that binder and start recreating those images, with our own flavors of course, but what I love about that binder is that it gives me a place where daydreaming is welcome, and no to-do lists are required!
I encourage our kids to daydream as well, asking them what they want to see in our home – what colors they want their rooms to be, how they want to arrange their space, etc. We drive by houses and talk about features we like best. One of the projects I have on my idea list is to help the kids build a scale version of our house with Lego, so we can all envision what it will look like in 3D. Who knows, maybe we’ll even find enough of the same color blocks to make it realistic looking ::: smile :::
When I talk to other families (including some of you reading this!) who are in the process of starting a homestead, anywhere from the dreaming stage to the living it out, we usually get into the little details that are necessary for making such a lifestyle work. And while those details are absolutely necessary (we do need water, proper sewage treatment, and heat!) it is all too easy to get discouraged with the prospect of the work ahead. When we are in the throws of working out a challenge, it is ever so important to refocus on the long-term goals. They keep our chins up and our spirits high.
That’s why, when I work on my list of ideas, I include everything, even the ideas that seem silly or far-reaching. When you’re dreaming, all ideas are good ideas, and they are all important. Who knows, maybe some day I’ll have clients driving up, getting out of their car and walking up to my little office, hearing the sounds of cows mooing and smelling flowers in bloom, settling in to chat about how their baby is growing, knowing that this is just the sort of place that inspires health and beauty, strength and wellness, love and family.
That’s what I’m dreaming about right now.What does your dream look like?