When Kyle and I initially started (earnestly) looking into uprooting and making the move from Kansas City, we had had set our sights on Oregon. When we were dating we had road-tripped and camped all over Oregon. As many others have, we found the state to be extraordinarily diverse and beautiful. It was not hard to fall in love with her.
As we talked and waited and researched and waited some more we knew we had to eventually be near the mountains and live a lifestyle closer to the wild, camping, hiking and generally being outside as much as possible (as a family).
We brain-stormed and worked out different ways we might realize our dream of living near the mountains. We knew we would be better off as a growing family if we found a job for Kyle first (especially while I was still nursing our daughter). Engineer jobs in Kyle's specialty were found to be ironically few and far between in the places we hoped to move to in Oregon so we opened up our search to the entire Pacific Northwest.
About 4 months before we chose our final destination and packed up all our belongings to make the big move, Kyle received an offer for a structural engineer position in Seattle, WA. The only catch was that we had to wait an undetermined amount of time before they could confirm the position he would be hired to. We used this time and waiting period as a catalyst to investigate both the area around Seattle and our own gut-feelings about a move there.
We found home and land prices to be quite astronomical compared to what we felt comfortable with and the general cost of living to be much higher than either of us had experienced. Looking forward to the future desire of owning our own land and homesteading one day, the cost of good land was a daunting reality that we were naturally uneasy about.
But the area is utterly gorgeous and we already knew a few friends and family members who lived out there, so we would not be utterly alone moving to this big bright promised land. We were drawn to it. It was hard not to be.
We dug deeper into our research of the area, received more details about Kyle's possible position, re-looked at our budget and our own hearts, and as we did so, we found our hearts reluctant to sign up for such a sparkling "promise"-- though we were admittedly very torn.
We had been yearning for a number of years to be in a place where we could live a more outdoor life for ourselves and our young growing daughter. We wanted more wild than Kansas City could offer. We wanted mountains and rivers and we hoped one day to have our own corner of wild land to steward.
We also felt somewhat of a time-crunch as a family. We wanted to move and set down our roots before our daughter (and possibly more kids) turned school-aged. We, ourselves, wanted to be in a slower paced, gentler living, and more wild area...and to have more of one another and time as a family.
We knew we loved the Oregon area as travelers but we weren't 100% sure it would be the same as residents (though we know it very well could have been). And we certainly weren't sure about Seattle, Washington. A place we'd never been to and mightn't be afford to even visit at that point. We just weren't sure, in our guts, if this was the right move for our family in light of all factors we could see...and many we could not.
More interestingly though, we found ourselves continually (albeit by a gentle, small unassuming voice) being drawn toward a town in Western North Carolina. Kyle's parents lived on the coast of North Carolina, but otherwise, we had no prior draw or connection.
But...there were mountains. So we kept it loosely on the list of possible destinations.
We did what we have found a proven strategy at times like these. We waited. We let it all go a bit (again) and gave our desire to move up to our family-saying, "if it's meant to happen, it will happen. If not, then it won't. We aren't going to force anything". We took this opportunity to practice patience in the midst of yearning and rest in the midst of want for action.
(In a future post I will share more of what led us to making our final decision to move to where we ended up. In the mean time...we continue to actively wait.)
We actively yearn and work hard at learning and growing and continuing our internal reflections...and we wait, doing our best to be content and joyfully patient.
Here we are, in our current home, incredibly entrusted to us by Kyle's parents, in a state that is more wild and wonderful than we ever could have hoped for and we are not surprised that we still pine and yearn.
For more time with one another, as a family and to find our own land to cultivate in a loving and careful way. This in itself is a driving motivation for much of what we aim to accomplish in keeping a homestead.
We know we still have so much to learn.
We are contentedly discontent.
We are thankful that Kyle has a position he actually really loves for the first time in his career, at a company that we both respect. We are thankful that we landed in a community when we first arrived that became our first true and loving friend base (a hard thing for natural introverts that just want to be at home with one another).
We are thankful to have an incredible little sanctuary of a home to live in for the next 5-6 years as we save our money and build our skill-base for our future land and farmstead.
And yet we let that ember from the fire of hope and contented discontentment burn inside us. We let it burn for a simpler life. We let it burn for a more responsibly responsive humanity. We let it burn for more time together as a family. We let it burn for a deeper connection with the sources of our food and sustenance. We yearn for heart-work as well as hard-work. And we are assured to continue to receive lots and lots of lessons in patient waiting, quite listening to the still small voice of Leading and being patient before loosing arrows of direction and destination.
Kyle and Athena
Welcome to our Farmstead Journal. We warmly invite you to read along as we share our journey as we learn and grow more authentic is our care and honor of the earth and all our fellow inhabitants, as we pursue our search for our own land and explore the meaning of homesteading and growing within plant-based/"veganic" principles. We seek deep authenticity, true peace, sanctuary for all and simplicity as our continual journey of learning and growing as a family.