Sunday 29 April 2012

Elegant Simplicity

Rye bread from the woodstove.

There are many reasons that we have chosen to share our lives in such a public way.
The most important reason is to illustrate the elegance of simple living.
While many people know that there needs to be a major lifestyle change in western culture,
the direction in which to go is not as clear.
There is no one way of life for everyone.
We have chosen our path, and our hope is that many others will choose a similar road.

Simple, may not be the best description of homesteading.
Frugal, is also a questionable way to understand living closer to the land.
In some ways, homesteading is very complex.
In other ways, homesteading is very expensive.
There must be a different style of accounting for value;
for we strive to live according to our Values.
Values that are common to most everyone, but may be hard to realize in today's culture of living.

The freshest herbal tea you'll find.

Through hard work and efforts, many people seek a life of luxury.
We desire rewards for a grueling work week.
Meeting basic needs no longer brings the same satisfaction.
There is a feeling of entitlement to basic needs as if they are a human right.
Therefore, hard work is directed more towards achieving financial goals that provide us the freedom to consume luxuries.
The word 'luxury' is generally understood as being the fine things that we are not entitled to, but may buy if we have earned enough money.
The word actually refers to excess.

In the search for luxury, I feel that we have lost sight of what is truly fine.
The fact that luxury is, in fact, taking more than you need, precludes it from balanced living.
That doesn't mean that we need to live without elegance, style, and quality.
It also doesn't mean that we abandon comfortable living.
The goal is to live within our means and not consume more than our share.
Knowledge, insight, innovation, ingenuity, and creativity are great gifts that we are all capable of.
By living according to these attributes, we are able to discover beauty and elegance within simplicity.
By applying the best of our nature to the business of living, we may ease the burdens of labour.


Economically speaking, luxury is further out reach for many more people.
Too many people, taking more than they need, has led to a state of division.
The implicit nature of luxury is the desire for something out of reach.
Yet, our culture is constantly yearning for more than we will ever achieve.
The solution is to abandon luxury, and evaluate Values.
A self-reflexive question to clarify our priorities and our true goals.
Simple living may have what we desire; those fine things in life.

What is truly important to you?
What do you expect from life?
I believe that most people, answering thoughtfully, will have similar values.
A comfortable home.
A safe place to live. A safe place for our children to play.
Food. Good food.
Health of body and soul.
Time to spend with friends and family.

We use photo effects instead of fertilizer for green grass.

The greatest challenge is to break free of the regimen into which we have been enlisted.
Government and media is constantly telling people what they should want.
The barrage of market advertising is virtually constant.
Most of the motivation is based on achieving luxury; meaning somebody is looking to get some of your share.
The notion that hard work and enterprise will guarantee wealth is misunderstood.
In the context of a typical life in our market driven culture, it is a falsehood.  
When the idea is applied to achieving our needs and values, wealth is no longer associated with money.

Simple living can be many lifestyles.
Simple is really just focusing on what is important.
Our simple life can be challenging and frenetic.
But we enjoy an elegance, and style, and quality, that are found only in simple things.
And so we share our experiences as we learn to change our lifestyle to better suit our values.
This, in the hope that others may enjoy what simple living has to offer.

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