Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.

Add to My MSN

Walking Home

1/26/2013 9:07:04 AM

Tags: homesteading, cabin, sustainability, modern homesteading, water systems, off grid, simplicity, simple life, good life, hand tools, human power, self sufficiency, Bethann Weick, Ryan Harvey, Bethann Weick

The short, dark says of winter make our walk home more siginificant.  Arriving home from work or other engagement is not accomplished as quickly as during the summer months.  The class VI road on which we live is not maintained, and while we can maneuver a truck down to our property line when the ground is bare, snow cover of course negates such ease.  So we park by the cemetery for which our road is named, then snap on skis or buckle on snowshoes, and head for home.  From the cemetery it’s a third of a mile to our cabin.

the road home

And this time of year, the walk often happens in the dark.  Sometimes we walk by headlamp, sometimes by memory, sometimes by moonlight.  The walk offers wonderful moments of transition between the demands of the outside world and Home.  I say walk – you understand that I’m the snowshoer of the two of us.  Regardless of our mode of movement, Ryan and I both agree.  The walk has a certain beauty to it, even in the dark.  Sometimes it’s cold, sometimes it’s frustrating when there’s lots to carry, sometimes it’s demanding when our tiredness is great.  But it ensures a few minutes of reflection, a time for our minds to slow down and release the concerns of the day.  It is both calming and awakening, and allows us to recognize our own desire to be home.  Despite cold, wind, snow, and storms, there is nothing harsh about these minutes on foot.  If anything it is intensely personal.  Thoughts crystallize, concerns fade, and our mental pace moderates.  The weather, the sky, the stars, the temperature, the creak of the trees and the lean of their boughs: each of these details comprise the background for our pedestrian commute.

sometimes we take the long way past the river falls that are rapidly freezing

As the old road bends to the left then leads downhill ever so slightly, the road becomes a footpath.  The forest closes in, and the long arms of elderberry and blackberry bushes narrow the path to a mere few feet.  It is at the twisted maple, before the series of seeps and springs, that the light from the cabin is first visible (if, of course, one of us is already at home to greet the other).  It beckons: dim, patient, promising. 

On the nights that my eyes discern this little light, a smile customarily touches the corners of my lips.  As forest gives way to field, the path rounds the corner past the garden and reaches the front door.  Sometimes the squeak of snow announces my arrival, other times the headlamp on my forehead is a clear giveaway.  Sometimes the powdered snow silences my footsteps – only to be heard by Mica, who announces my arrival with a welcoming bark. 

I swing open the door, make use of the stump that is our doorstep, and enter.  I am home at last.   

Related Content

Getting My Goats

One woman's journey from life in urban America to a small town in Austria, then back to a suburban h...

Modern Homesteading Treasures

For inspiration and education, take some time to peruse the hundreds of Modern Homesteading articles...

A Homesteading Alphabet

Do you find yourself spelling out words to others, such as when you are spelling out your last name?...

A Modern Homesteader's Shame

How can someone who claims to be a 'modern homesteader' not have planted her garden by the end of Ju...

Content Tools

Post a comment below.


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.