Breakfast at Home

December 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

The cow is milked. The chickens and ducks and sheep and steers are fed. So is the dog, after she and I romped around in the snow for a bit. She feels better, now that we went to the vet and got the tick diseases diagnosed (sigh) and got her on some antibiotics. There is a time and a place for them, and this is one of them. It’s good to see her old spirit back. And so – happy Saturday!

There is something about a late(ish) breakfast after morning chores. It makes me want to eat healthier, to crave things like, today, kale and eggs and fresh milk (in my coffee). Back in Colorado, when I worked at the horse barn, I would grab a granola bar for my pseudo breakfast at 6:45 a.m. – which didn’t really count, in my mind, as anything more than enough fuel to get me moving for a few hours. I’d go out to the stables to feed and move and turn out horses, and muck stalls, and then around 11:30 or so I’d head back home to my real meal, a substantial and fantastic brunch complete with meat and/or eggs and almost always greens (especially when I was also working at the organic farm several days a week). Yum.

There is surely a mind-body connection here. The physical effort plus the great outdoors seem to send little signals to the brain that we need nourishment! and nourishment that is natural, real, from the earth and its animals as directly as possible! So as much as I love a little pastry or tart as much as the next girl, this isn’t the time for it.

And I think that is part of why I crave this farm-life so much. It builds health up from, out from itself, in so many ways. Done well, it perpetuates health – health for humans, animals, land. And, in my opinion, communities.

I’ve been reading the book Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes – and, lest you be misled, this is not simply about lucky suburban stay-at-home-moms who are financially comfortable enough to be doing what they do, possibly with a nanny in tow, and possibly eco-friendly in the I-can-afford-it kind of way. (There is nothing quite wrong with that, but it isn’t a reality for most of us, right?) So, if you aren’t in this position, and it seems that you have to go to work, whether you like it or not, this book is probably equally if not more so for you. Hayes explores how the home has functioned past to present, how the choices we make are driven by and/or affect our communities and society as a whole, and how many families are assessing the current trends in career and home life and making deliberate deviations in the pursuit of health and happiness. The book is full of examples, quotes, and real people that make you think, “Huh. I could do this if they could.”

So much of what Hayes says here makes sense to me. It explains why, for so long, I wrinkled my nose at nearly every reasonable career option out there. As I read through the book, so many times I thought (in my melodramatic way) Oh my heart! Yes. This is the life I have wanted. Thank goodness the sustainable/environmental movement came along, where I could find a few more folks with my kinds of ideals, and find jobs therein. That said, as a (still) single girl, it’s challenging to think about how I can focus on home and how I can create homegrown community without a partner in this divine crime, this subversion of commercial, corporate society. But I mean to try.

Here’s an excerpt:
When women and men choose to center their lives on their homes, creating strong family units and living in a way that honors our natural resources and local communities, they are doing more than dismantling the extractive economy and taking power away from the corporate plutocrats. They are laying the foundation to re-democratize our society and heal our planet. They are rebuilding the life-serving economy. (57-58)

Read the book! And eat kale for breakfast, at a table, leisurely, like you deserve it. Your body will thank you.


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