Sunday, March 28, 2010

pods and strings

In my short years of experience with country living I have learned to pay attention to how experiences affect me. Before I even start the season I can tell you how much breaking sod that first weekend out of winter hurts my shoulder—or the amazing feeling of a two-day-old chick's heartbeat in my palm. I understand the economy of gardening, how the patience of growing things wears off and yet that intense joy still comes when that first spring salad hits your fork. I also know what combinations of activities or items can cure loneliness, or anxiety, or fear. A snap pea sprout and a banjo are one such combination.

It is impossible for me to not smile when I look at a spunky spring pea shoot and an openback banjo. The two are strong medicine, and no matter where I am or what's going on—if I close my eyes and picture white pea blossoms and vibrant green vines curling around a banjo neck—I forget whatever has been troublesome to me. The image reminds me why I got into homesteading in the first place: to let the simplicity change me. To allow basic human needs to start and end here, and fill emptiness wherever it growls.

I see a pea sprout and a banjo and I know without a doubt in my mind that tomorrow holds the possibility of good food and good music. The evolve from pods and strings into hope. They are food and music I grow and play myself, which makes them not only hope, but hope I cultivated my my own volition. Meaning the human animal has the ability to not only feed and entertain herself but to understand the perspective and value of waiting for future happiness. I get that from snap peas and banjos. I really believe if more people could tap into their own combinations of basic things they can control themselves, they might find happiness there too.


Blogger Elizabeth said...

There is definitely something wonderfully satisfying about doing it your self.....anything your self. I didn't get married until I was 34. By then I had done some great things with my life. Getting married didn't "complete" me it just added a different dimension to the greatness my life already was! Growing MY own food, taking care of MY own animals, taking care of MY own land all gave me present happiness and propelled me toward future happiness. It was grand. It is still grand.

March 28, 2010 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger Toni aka irishlas said...

Yup, there's something magnificent about growing your own food and making your own music. It's a fine way to spend the day.

March 28, 2010 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger Naomi said...

Beautifully said. I've got romaine and spinach starts on my porch right now waiting to go in the garden beds. Yay!

March 28, 2010 at 10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is amazing to this old man how one so young can put into words the thoughts that I so often have but am unable to properly communicate. I grew up in the country and now wish I could return to the simpler life that I had growing up. I am not by any means saying it was easier, just simpler and more fulfilling. God bless you Jenna and please do not ever quit writing your wonderful thoughts and blog!!

March 28, 2010 at 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yes, you've got it. I wish you could transmit that wisdom to some of the young (and older) people I know.

And, just because I'm thinking about it right now, I will be forever grateful to you for causing me to learn to play fiddle during last year's challenge. I'm still working my way through the first book, but what a joy when it actually sounds like music! And when I know the notes well enough to concentrate on just putting emotion into the sound. Words cannot express my gratitude.

March 28, 2010 at 5:33 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

I believe that you said it all when you mentioned the perspective and value of waiting for future happiness.

Instant gratification has been the main ill of our society for a long time, or so it would seem to me, and I think that learning to live more simply, and to learn the value of waiting for future happiness would cure a lot of people's emotional ills. Like concentrating on what you have, and not on what you don't have. And learning to wait.

March 28, 2010 at 9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paula, you said what I think so often when I watch my grown children. Even though were were just "lower middle class" income when they were growing up, they got most of what they asked for. They never seemed to learn how to wait for, save for, and even sacrifice for something that would come later on down the line. I feel that their generation, for the most part, has really missed out on that somehow.

March 28, 2010 at 10:51 PM  
Blogger Sacha Joy said...

Amen, sister!

March 28, 2010 at 11:07 PM  
Blogger SouthernHeart said...

I'm happy for you that you've learned this profound fact so "early" in life. Some people never learn it...regardless of age. There is joy to be found in the simplest of thing...which, in reality, are some of the most profound - like making your own music and growing your own food. Good for you!

March 28, 2010 at 11:14 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

You got it, girl.

I'm totally simplifying my garden this year because I'll be gone for three weeks at a harp workshop in Ireland. So I'm forgetting about new perennials and container plantings that usually make me go wild, but I'm definitely putting in a few tomatoes and some basil. Those are absolute necessities!

March 28, 2010 at 11:32 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

Hey Jenna,

I was cruising the blogosphere and thought you would be interested to see this:

Check out that knitting basket, you might see something familiar!

Take care

March 29, 2010 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger jpark22 said...

Jenna, April is close, when will you be moving to your new home? How exciting. Pat

March 29, 2010 at 6:29 PM  

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