Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Peace

Since Kim got the ball rolling, I guess it's my turn to introduce myself and my family. Although my husband and I embody an eclectic mix of perspectives and beliefs, we completely agree on what we want for our daughter. We both came from very loving families, but the settings were completely different! He grew up in the Big City while I grew up in the Spacious Country.  My parenting has been very much influenced that place, and I think I can pinpoint the two biggest contributors: nature and peace.

I was born and raised on a small working farm. We raised corn, cattle, pigs, chickens, and rabbits along with our own family vegetable garden. My family's ideal day included working in the gardens, hanging laundry on the clothesline, sipping coffee on the front porch, and falling asleep to the sound of crickets chirping outside our windows. My mother and I could go weeks during the summer without leaving the house to venture into town. My father had a passion for gardening, and I vividly remember the pure joy I felt while digging my hands into the earth to plant seeds that would later turn into sweet corn on the cob or juicy watermelon. I was always very aware of where our food came from; most of the vegetables came from our gardens and the meat came from our animals. It wasn't until much later in life that I discovered where most people's food comes from. It was at that point that I became a devoted vegetarian, and I haven't looked back since!

I married a city boy, though, and the first several years of our marriage was spent living in apartments and the suburbs. We went through several houses in the first 7 years trying to find the right fit. We finally settled into a small-ish country property about 25 minutes from town. There are days we hate the drive, of course, but most days are pure bliss. I find such joy sitting on my back patio drinking coffee or's so reminiscent of my childhood! I remember feeling very disconnected from nature in our former residences. My mom mailed me a package of tomato plants from my dad's greenhouse the first year I was married, but I had no place to put them. We had a balcony at our apartment, but it was completely shaded. I remember crying when I realized I wouldn't get a single tomato from those plants!

Fast forward to my life now with my beautiful daughter, Ella...perfection. My history with nature and my passion for peace guide each and every day with her. I want her to treasure the moments she spends running around outdoors naked and digging her hands in the dirt. I want her to feel the peace that surrounds her as she listens to the birds chirp and the corn grow. I want her to feel free, truly free from the confines of society and free to explore the world around her as she chooses. I want to see the joy in her eyes when she takes the first bite of a watermelon that she planted on her own. More than anything, I want her to know that her life is her own and she can decide exactly what to do with it.



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