Hardship constructs the skeleton of homesteading, of farming, or of running a small business. Hardship is all the stuff we consider bad, stressful, and full of difficulty. These past few weeks have been so filled with hardship that I’ve actually had to laugh at it all. How ridiculous, I thought, how unthinkable that as I began to live my dream in earnest, I would be overwhelmed with hardship at the precise point when things seemed to be getting better.
I’m not going to go into detail right now about my specific hardships because it really doesn’t matter. In a lifetime, hardships are ready to introduce themselves at the drop of a hat. What matters is that what I consider my personal problems bunched up into coils around me that seemed about ready to squeeze the life out of me. But at this point in my career as a human being I’ve seen these ropes before – I can also see how often I reach out and wrap those ropes around myself and wonder why I am all tied up. Setting forth on a path that includes homesteading, farming, and running a business will break you down into your component parts. There are so many rules and regulations to follow, and so many dangers lurking around every damned corner, that one wrong step and down you will go, kicked in the chest by a seemingly cruel and uncaring world.
Time to get back up. I’ve found that I have to start by untying the ropes that wrap me up, seeing where I really am, and probably taking a few deep breathes, or moments, or days to come back to reality. Here I am, full of troubles and hardship, but also full of life.
And life is incredible. The marrow of life is joy – as we grow in wisdom from the pains we suffer and the hardships we go through, at the center of life is the sweet marrow of living and breathing in this world, at this moment, with a sip of coffee and the smell of woodsmoke in the air. No better gift, to be able to pause and take a breathe of fresh air.
Let go of the ropes.