I read this http://www.grassfedcooking.com/radical_homemakers.html and thought "Yes!" because in so many ways this speaks to the yearnings of my heart. Maybe I read it and felt validated because I enjoy doing all sorts of "domestic" things at home with my passel of children. Who knew such things were so "radical"?!
While I don't see myself ever raising livestock though because I am a big ol' chicken, there are parts of homesteading that sound downright appealing. To be honest,though, there are certain creature comforts I just "need". The Husband could tell you that the way I whine about my van's lack of working A/C is well, let's just say I could give a two-year-old a run for his money. I just don't do well in the heat, I guess.
But...the concepts of sustainability, of social justice, and of doing things from scratch...they speak to the part of me that yearns for a patch of our own land where we can grow a big garden and the boys can run free. I love to knit and have been wanting to learn to spin for a while.
I have pieces of expensive paper that say I've studied hard (or at least studied), but what I really yearn to do is be home with the boys and cook things from scratch, knit their socks and hats and sweaters and be their primary educator. I crave the ability to chuck most of the consumerism. ("Most" because I do still find myself drooling over other people's stuff...there's still a part of me that longs to spend with abandon and engage in "retail therapy.")
Even though there are days when I think that I surely will go stark raving mad fromthe shrieking (theirs, not mine...mostly) or that I will be highly qualified to be a bouncer at a biker bar after breaking up so many brawls, I long for the homeschooling experience and responsibility. (I also fear that we'd drop the ball horribly and prevent our kids from reaching full potential.)
I guess what I truly yearn for is the courage to truly live my convictions...I think. It's easy to romanticize a "simpler life." The truth is making everything from scratch is not easy. Growing your own food and knowing it has to sustain you is a lot of hard, sweaty, dirty work. (Right now we simply do not have the space. Excuse or reality? Your guess is as good as mine.)
I live in a culture of convenience and I have enjoyed the spoils, mostly. There's a difference between baking a loaf of bread when the mood strikes and knowing that if I don't knead it, it won't be there when I want it. When I'm craving a sweet treat, if I haven't planned ahead, that craving is going to have to wait until the butter softens, the oven heats and the cookies are cool.
For now, I will be content to bake the bread when the menu warrants or the mood strikes, to knit up the sweater or socks as a special thing and have the pleasure of working through the boys' homework or interests while they still attend public school. I will operate on a case by case basis and recognize that nothing is in stone.
While I'm not really as "radical" as some, I am inspired by their stories and also self-aware enough to realize that I can't go quite that deep yet or ever...but I never thought I'd have 5, almost 6 kids either so what the future holds is a mystery.
I guess when it comes to the simpler life, I'm on the fence...
I pray that we each can find the strength, opportunity and balance to live our convictions and our dreams.