Saturday, August 29, 2009

Thinking about simplicity

I have been thinking about simplicity lately. Well, I always think about it but I have been thinking about it more than usual the past couple weeks. I have a small piece of calligraphy written on white paper that says "I need very little, and of that very little, I need very little" and I think of this saying often, especially when going through my stuff looking for things to get rid of. I love it when things are clean and organized and the house isn't crammed with unnecessary things everywhere you look.

I used to think that living in the country on a farm would be the ultimate simple life: grow your own food, see the stars, spend the afternoon on the porch. That is, until we got our chickens, rabbits, and ducks. I now realize that a farm life might well be a good life, but it would not necessarily be simple. Take pitchforks, for example. How many do you need, do you think? One? That's what I thought, until I discovered that there is one for turning the compost pile, one for moving hay out of the chicken coop, one for garden work, and another one for moving large quantities of hay, straw, etc. That makes four pitchforks.

And then shovels: a small one perfect for planting perennials, a normal sized one for digging out and replanting larger plants and bushes, and a square edged one for cutting sod, edging paths, and moving small patches of snow off stairs, etc, and finally an actual snow shovel for clearing large areas of snow. In the pacific northwest we don't often get snow in the winter, but you can't get rid of the snow shovels because you can be assured that as soon as you do there would be a freak snow storm that drops a good foot or so of snow, even if it's in the middle of June.

And then the ducks: they need several water bowls spread out all over the yard as well as two pools - a kiddie pool for splashing in and a livestock tank so that they can actually swim without their feet touching the bottom. And then at feeding times you have to stay with them while they eat to refill the water after Minna has stepped in it and tipped it, and then refill the food after Minna tips it trying to get out of the water bowl. Oh, and to chase the chickens away before they can chase the ducks away and steal their food.

The rabbits are another story entirely: three rabbits and two cages. Suki gets along with Jojo and TJ, they get along with her, but they can't stand each other. They need run time (outside) and binky time (inside). They should have pellets and hay available all the time, and then greens as often as possible, but not too much at once and TJ and Suki love basil leaves but Jojo looks at it like you've just given him a worm (which is to say that he gives it a disdainful look and refuses to touch it.)

And this isn't even taking into account the dogs, cats and chickens. So the only conclusion I can come to is that, no, farm life would definitely not fall into the simple catagory, but then again, life without animals would be too dull to contemplate so I suppose I will compromise by having a complicated life as long as I can keep my home and belongings simple and clutter free.

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