Kids, perspective is everything.
How you live your life is directly related to your perspective.
Without perspective, camping in a tent for two weeks with three little kids just outside a construction zone sounds like a pretty shitty deal. As tough as it was, I kept reminding myself what an immense blessing it was that I had a fresh clean well just steps from our tent. Water.org says that 780 million people do not have access to clean water. That’s about two and a half times the population of the US. Remember how we didn’t have a bathroom for two weeks? That doesn’t make us any more special than at least 60% of the world’s population. When life gets comparatively tough, our instinctive reaction is a petulant tantrum along the lines of “Why me? WHHHHYYYYYY?” Maybe you don’t think you’re quite that dramatic, but think about it the next time your personal car, that you drive to your job to make more money than 90 percent of the world, gets a flat tire on the way to a movie theater where you will literally sit for two hours inhaling popcorn and candy while being entertained.
It’s been two and a half months since we moved here and officially became hicks from the sticks. I feel like I vacillate widely between feeling depressed about our living conditions, to a kind of determined contentment that is not without joy. I’ve come to realize that definitely for sure, I’m a pretty materialistic person with materialistic values. I’ll be honest, this house is not pretty. The land is, but the house and the weedy yards surrounding it have only improved slightly with weeks of cleaning and landscaping. We keep telling each other that it’s a marathon and not a sprint because if you try sprinting with children–something usually gets dropped. I think much more than I ever realized, a large part of my identity is not who God says I am, but is instead wrapped up in the perception that I desperately hope others will have of me.
So here’s how I’m seeing this adventure we call (ironically, for now) Hurst Farm.
What Do I Want You To See? I want you to see a beautiful cross between Better Homes and Gardens and The Pioneer Woman with a solid slice of organic living permaculture.
What Do I See? A field of weeds surrounding a run-down house that has good bones but looks uglier than the backside of a fleabitten cat. Seriously.
What Is The Reality? Well kids, the reality is that we still live better than probably 90% of the world’s population. We live in a house that is currently the size that most of our grandparents grew up in, but now we have running water and electricity and internet. Guess who has two thumbs and takes hot showers multiple times a week?
So, are we spoiled? Yep. Do we need a reality check about how our living situation compares to the rest of the world? Every damn day. Are we going to embrace living a lifestyle where we value others and allow them to value us based not on what we wear and how we look but who we are? You bet.
I know, I owe ya’ll some pictures after that flea-bitten cat description. Here’s the house from the driveway. In the foreground you see the original cabin and in the background–wrapped in more metal than a tinfoil alien hat–is the house.
You can read part one of this letter in the last blog