As you probably know, and may be tired of hearing, I have been writing a book recently. Yesterday I finished it. We still have photos and a few odds and ends to sort out, but the bulk of my book work is over. I am so relieved, even though I enjoyed the entire process and felt quite privileged to be doing it. This signals not only the end of the writing but also my whole-hearted return to my blog. I have kept it going to the best of my ability but because I was writing and not doing what I usually do, had few opportunities to bring you new posts about our work here at home or new discoveries made.
I have also been refreshed by my trip down to the Blue Mountains with my sister, Tricia. It gave me a lot of time to think about myself, my life in Queensland and how I fit into the scheme of things. I am coming back here knowing with no doubts that my home is where I want to be, my family is the most important thing in my life and that now my role is to carry on here living this wonderful life and to encourage and support our children and grandchildren to become the best they can be. If I can be a role model for others as well, that's the icing on the cake for me.
Since November last year I've spent most days writing and have missed the ordinary domestic activities that are now so familiar to me. I kept making the bed, and dinner at night, but instead of baking bread every day, we've been buying the Aldi rye loaf. There have been no days just pottering around, no spare time for reading or experimenting; it's been just the bare necessities, then back to the computer. But today we are back to hot bread straight from the oven for lunch, working on new recipes, and looking for simpler ways of doing what we do. I'll be planting seeds later in the week, doing some work on the worm farm, reorganising the bush house, researching cheese making (again), sewing, knitting and cleaning. I have new books to read and a desk to tidy. Many would think it's some kind of madness to look forward to those things, but I'm back doing what I enjoy. It feels right.
Making our bed every morning helps us both sleep well, so we're able to get the full measure of the following day. Pottering around my home satisfies me; my work has a purpose. I feel content when I work here using simple methods and at the end of such a day, I look back on the work, knowing it has given us this interesting and comfortable home, and I can't help it, I am made happy by it. Having just come back from Sydney, a city of five million people, I know for sure that being here in this quiet little one lane street is where I want to be. We are surrounded by rainforest and trees, a few friendly neighbours, and we can work at our own pace making from scratch as much as possible and doing all we can to make our lives productive, useful and enriching. There is nothing fancy here but we live well and we're happy. At the end of the day, you can't ask for much more than that. I'm sure many of you feel the same way.
I never want to be someone who wakes up and wonders what on earth I can do to fill in the hours. There is so much to be done here. None of it has to be done right now, but it's there, waiting its turn. Living simply has given us a gentle way of living a full and rich life, although many of our contemporaries wonder why such a life satisfies us. They don't get it. That's okay, I don't get bowling clubs, botox, endless miles in caravans or shopping either. Let me plunge my hands into warm soapy washing up water or into the worm farm or garden soil or my knitting basket and I'm smiling. It doesn't take much. I'm so pleased to be back.