I was fortunate recently to spend a weekend at a friend’s farm and it reminded me how all too often we complicate our lives unnecessarily looking for complex sources of enjoyment. Good times in life can come from the simplest activities and yet all too often we overlook them as a source of enjoyment and satisfaction.
Physically several hours away from where I normally live, in a place I had never visited before, with new people to meet, new activities to participate in, my mobile phone left in my bag, no television, freshly picked whole foods to enjoy, sunshine, fresh air, large open spaces, quiet, no city lights, clear starry nights and no rigid agenda, the weekend was ahead of me.
A country girl at heart, this was a weekend I was really looking forward to and would be a refreshing change from my normal city routine and weekend experience.
The weekend began with a tour of the property: the space and quiet were something I had been looking forward to. Country spaces are wide, open, textured and the edges blurred in comparison to the hard edges of the city where concrete, steel, glass and hard edges abound and buildings are close and high.
The change in energy from the city to the country was tangible: fresh air, natural smells and the softer sounds of nature replaced traffic noises, sirens, congestion and vast numbers of people toing and froing.
There are many parts to a farm and it’s their interconnection that makes a farm a dynamic living space. As anyone who has lived on a farm will tell you there is always something to do so with the light fading, chickens were moved into their hen house, animals fed, equipment put away, sheds and fences closed.
Come evening, nature is a mix of creatures settling in and others waking up: some quite noisy as they do however as the evening settles in, there is a stillness overall. Close to a full moon, we were treated to moonlight casting shadows around the farm buildings and trees. So beautiful.
The night air was cool so we moved inside and settled in the kitchen near the wood burning stove whilst the evening meal was prepared. Dinner was a simple meal using produce grown on the farm, some of it literally picked from the farm vegetable gardens just before we ate. With no distractions from technology, the evening’s entertainment was sitting around the kitchen table, enjoying our delicious meal and sharing stories and experiences. Face to face, human connection is something many of us get so little of these days.
Prior to bed, I went outside to look at the night sky. It was a clear night so I was treated to nature’s light show of stars clearly visible in the sky: magic.
With an afternoon of fresh air, a delicious meal and new friendships formed it was time for bed and sleep came easily.
Before I knew it, it was morning with the sunrise announced by the farm rooster. As I lay in bed, the light increased as did the sounds and smells of farm life. It was a gentle and relaxed start to the day but not for too long: this was a working weekend. With a farm breakfast of freshly laid eggs, home baked bread and coffee enjoyed, it was time to earn our keep here on the farm.
The farm grows organic vegetables so the activity for the day was to help with planting winter vegetable seedlings. We were blessed with beautiful weather so it was a pleasure to be out in the sunshine and fresh air.
The hours passed quickly. Whilst my planting tasks were simple and repetitive, I enjoyed doing them. With my hands literally in the soil, I found it very grounding and felt immense satisfaction that I was able to do just a little bit to help out on this farm. Just think, the little seedlings I planted are on their way to being nutritious vegetables for others to enjoy in a few month’s time.
All too quickly the day was done, and it was time to return back to city life. I was physically tired and enjoyed the feeling: for me it was so much more satisfying than the usual mental fatigue at the end of a work day.
A final meal prepared from farm produce (I’ve got to get that recipe for basil pesto) and with further sharing of our day’s experiences, all too quickly it was time to head back to the city.
As I sat back in the train heading towards the city, I reminisced about my weekend. It was simple one but so enjoyable.
I had made new friends, connecting and communicating with them. I had learnt new skills and felt appreciated for my efforts. My senses were rewarded with new sights, sounds and tastes, and my body was nourished with sunshine, fresh air and delicious whole foods. It was a great weekend!
The simple things in life are simply that: simple. They need not be expensive, complex or difficult to do or participate in.
I think we owe it to ourselves to make full use of our life. A life lived fully is about the experiences we participate in, the human connections we make and the things we do that make us feel complete as a human being.
Until next time, wishing you a delicious day filled with love, laughter, happiness AND simple experiences!