Monday, September 9, 2013

Barnheart: The Incurable Longing for a Farm of One's Own


If you’re one of the many who have a longing for a farm of your own and have never read Jenna Woginrich’s book Barnheart, I highly recommend it.  She gets it and provides inspiration for those of us who have Barnheart as we move toward that inner calling of a more authentic life.

Normally articles and photos of decorating, homesteading, farming and getting ready for fall are things that make my heart sing.  But I have to be honest, that Barnheart longing has recently moved into high gear and it's been kinda hard to read yet another post of someone moving to a farm, tending their goats and chickens or showing the how-to’s of their most recent DIY project. 

Sounds horrible to say, especially because I know it's important to celebrate others and be happy for them no matter what we might be going through.  This kind of feeling is not a normal occurrence for me.  Usually these types of posts inspire, encourage and set my wheels a’turning...but not lately.

Right now we’re living the one-bedroom cottage lifestyle in a rental that’s furnished and lovingly decorated.  It’s been a temporary spot as we wait for our home…but our stay has become much longer than anticipated and this inner farm girl is longing for a spot of her she can paint, decorate, plant and dig around. 

This is the time of year I really nest and embrace the season.  I miss gardening, growing our own food, planting beautiful flowers and generally making things look lovely outside the simple way.

Planting anything isn't an option here, so there’s nothing to cultivate outdoors and not having mums outside this time of year is such a strange feeling.  I know it sounds silly, but there are certain things that say “home” and to me it’s being greeted by mums at the front door (;

I miss switching out our summer accessories with fall pieces and preparing for the cooler months ahead.  I miss working on projects inside and out and the inspiration it creates for other areas of life.  I miss our stuff that’s still in storage as we wait for our next home. 

Don’t get me wrong, our cottage in the city is lovely and we are SO blessed to live in such a prepared-for place, but it’s still someone else’s home filled with someone else’s stuff.  I didn't realize how much I missed being surrounded by our own things until we visited our storage unit a few days ago to dig out several books for a research project.

I've stopped by the unit a few times to put things in as our workspace starting getting cluttered, but each trip was basically a drop off.  Most of our living (working, eating, relaxing and sleeping) is done in a very small space which means we can’t store a lot of items here.  It's great training ground for the simple lifestyle lover and a crash course in that smaller footprint goal, but it can be challenging when you work from home.

So when things get a little overwhelming we either purge or take it to storage (;  I learned the art of letting go after our horrific move and hadn't really seen our things in almost two years, so I was unprepared for the emotional ride that was getting ready to take place.  And there I was…taking in the sights and scents of our home that once was.

I couldn't believe how much that storage unit felt like home as box after box was opened! For the first time I really missed seeing our things.  After losing most of our belongings during the move, I had to detach myself from needing things.  The loss of our stuff was a shock, but we chose to view it as a growing experience and so I embraced letting go…that is until we starting finding things that we didn't realize made it into the storage unit. 

The first item that sent my heart to dancing was a hand carved bowl created by my Grandfather.  The next thing was a box of tools which included one of the hammers he made by hand…it was his favorite and one that soon became my favorite as well.  Then I found a plaque with a handwritten note from my Dad {insert happy sigh here}.

We also uncovered photos and a few cherished mementos we thought were lost forever.  These things weren't important, but it offered a reminder of the legacy that was represented.  Seeing our things also connected me back to my aesthetic sense…the design and colors that make me feel like me. 

In an instant there was a rush of sadness and excitement all at once.  Sadness because we were leaving our things behind to go back to a place that didn't feel like us…but then excitement because I could envision us unpacking all those boxes in our new place and settling in to what we've been waiting for these last two years. 

I could see my studio coming to life again…

I could see handmade art adorning our walls…

I could see our bedrooms flooded with light from large, sheer covered windows…

I could see a front porch filled with mums waiting to greet us after nightly constitutionals…

I could see a garden packed with organic goodies waiting to be harvested…

I could see our beloved animals frolicking in the fields…

I could see a home overflowing with family and friends gathered to laugh, love and live boldly…

I could see hope and a new passion for our future…

And most importantly, I could see our Home Haven coming together…finally (;

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”  Proverbs 13:12

In Gratitude,

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