Our home

13 July 2007

I wonder sometimes why our paths lead us to this simple way of living. None of my friends live as we do, neither do any family members, although both our sons don’t have cars for purely environmental reasons and one is an organic gardener. But here we are living a kind of ideal life that has made us more relaxed and happy than we’ve ever been while the others are still off shopping, playing bowls or bingo or travelling around the country with a rolling sea of grey nomads. Strange.

There are days when it suddenly hits me that we don’t work for a living now. That whatever we decide to do on a particular day is what we’ll do, with no input from a boss or a looming deadline that requires us to do something else. Our days are spent in the garden and the house, listening to the sounds of a quiet home. We hear birds, and now know some of those birds live here with us. It never hit me before that while I think of this land as “ours” there are a few families of birds, some snakes and lizards, who, while they don’t spend all their lives here, spend a significant portion of it here and regard “our home” as their home too. It’s a nice feeling to be part of the natural world, to have birds you know by sight sit near you when you’re in the garden.

Our days are punctuated by meals and tea breaks, with chores and rest served in between in equal portions. Although we’ve never actually divided up the work that needs to be done, we’ve naturally fallen into doing what suits us best. It doesn’t seem like work, it feels like just making things comfortable for ourselves.

And we’re easy on each other now. We never argue, it’s all relaxed and effortless. I’m not sure if that’s come with age or if it’s because we live well with very little stress. Maybe it’s a bit of both, whatever it is, it allows us both to do what we feel like doing without the unspoken disapproval of the other. I haven’t seen “THE Look” for a dozen months.

I go to work at my voluntary job two days a week and that really suits us because we need time apart too. Working where I do gives me a feeling of being in the right place, and when I come home each night, I feel satisfied, tired and grateful that I am accepted by the homeless and the disadvantaged as well as the business leaders and local government officials who are able to make life easier for my people.

H has just called me for morning tea. He’s been quietly making tea and pikelets and the aroma here now is something special. We never say to each other that this is the good life, but I often think it. I wonder if he does too. I must ask him while we sit in the sun and sip our tea.