We had our first snow of the season last week. Just a tiny amount, but it reminded us just how short autumn is, and how soon winter will be here.
On The First Snow Day, we began winterizing in earnest. Windows were taken down and replaced, the wood pile was nearly doubled, and all the cold-weather animal preparation was begun. My goats, ducks, and chickens are almost ready for winter – we have just a few more projects to complete.
Indoors, we baked and read, sketched and played. We watched the afternoon sun melt the snow and dry the mud.
This coming winter is going to be a fresh start for us in our newest step toward intentionality. We’re working toward a more simplistic, and monastically inspired home life; taking the death of the new car as a sign that our mobility should be limited in this new season, we’re structuring our time more around the home.
Before now, we’ve always been relatively mobile. We have always been a one-car family, but we were constantly making trips into town for one thing or another. Only two or three days were spent entirely at home, on average. Now, we’re reversing that trend, with most of the week decidedly at home and the our primary trips into town revolving around Mass and lessons.
I will probably have to include a trip in to see my acupuncturist as well, but on the whole, we expect to be at home 4-5 days a week in the winter, with the lower gas bills and more stable home life to prove it!
Doesn’t that sound lovely! I’m sort of homebody as it is. We definitely don’t want to shut out our friends in any way. But we do want to tap into that Benedictine stability that infuses well-lived in homes. We want to fill our days with woodland walks, slow-cooked meals, schoolwork, reading, writing, and long conversations.
I feel like an essential part of sustainability is avoiding that need to pursue entertainment outside of ourselves. And that pursuit is one of the hardest things to give up. Regular shopping, cafe trips, visits, and errands can become crutches that distract us (or at least me) from engaging with the present. “After I run to Target for some ____..” is often a decision to put entertainment over engagement.
This winter, we’re trying to do better for ourselves, and hopefully it will be a decision that outlasts our car issues. If anything can outlast our car issues.