We are welcomed into warm kitchens where bunches of herbs hang from the rafters and vegetables are roasting in the oven.
We are required to read to irrepressibly cute one-year-olds.
We savor long views of winter trees and cloud-kissed mountains.
We enjoy long afternoons by the woodstove, and baby smiles.
We take hikes on brisk days. We celebrate larches and crab apples and geese.
We gather inside and share music and wine while cold rain beats against the windows.
This weekend we journeyed north to Vermont to stay with our friends Jeff and Sarah, and their son Monroe. They inspire me. The way they live, and the way they parent, is simple and organic, whole and nurturing and honest. At times I feel like I've got one foot firmly planted in mainstream, materialistic America-- I like Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn, I eat at Burger King occasionally, I spend a lot of money at JoAnn Fabrics. But my heart wants to live close to the land, and simply, mostly by what I can provide with my own hands. Jeff and Sarah are more committed to that ideal than I am. They walk the walk. When Patrick and I move out of town, I imagine it'll become easier to live close to the land. We need land first, though, and that day will come.
In the meantime, we can always visit. Thanks to our hosts for food, shelter, and excellent conversation. And thanks to Monroe for enlightenment on the many uses of blocks, new adjectives to be added to my vocabulary, and endless entertainment.