The amazing story of two 40-something women on the path to matrimonial bliss

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Deep Living

We are in the midst of a bit of an experiment.  Truth is, however, we are part of a bit of a movement--we are running with a bunch of other people who are also in the midst of an experiment. With an urge to sort-of simplify and sort-of just experience the ordinariness of every day, we all seem to be trying control what goes into the food we eat; and how we contribute to our environment.This is what our daughter, Lucy, has dubbed deep living...

I think she was teasing us a bit as we were sitting out in our garden sometime in early August on a weekday night.  Our black Austalorp hen was scrunched in the cat bed laying an egg with little regard for the bustle of people coming and going from the kitchen door and we were serving up dinner to our kids in what has been dubbed the weekly "Drop-in."  Lu surveyed the scene with a bit of humor and declared: "This is some deep living you've got going here."  Indeed.

We like living in town.  In fact, we live incredibly close to DOWNtown.  We can head out our front door and within 15 minutes on foot, find ourselves sitting at a coffee shop in the parks blocks in the middle of downtown. I love just about everything that urban living has to offer--public transportation, street fairs, art galleries, and neighbors who get all up in each others' business.  But, we like some other presumably non-urban stuff too.

I don't think we really have any desire to wrangle goats or do any farming on a serious farming scale. What we are really motivated by is a desire to strip away some of the chemicals, machines, and layers of commercial exploitation that post-modern living has to offer.  We want to grow some of the food we eat, make our little bit of yard/land/garden healthier, and feel a more authentic connection to the seasons. We don't want to get back to nature in any sort of hiding-out-utopian way, we want to uncover the nature that exists right out our back door--with the sound of train whistles in the background.

Our 3 chickens are pretty spoiled city chickens.  They get to "free range" the back yard all day--which includes 2 happy apple trees, a cherry tree, a fig tree, a persimmon tree, several garden beds and a 2-bin composter that works overtime providing worms, grubs and rotting treats. In return, they offer up some pretty ordinarily amazing brown-shelled eggs.  All of this thrives on a typical urban lot that takes about 20 seconds to walk from end-to-end.  We live in an ordinary post-WWII ranch-y tract house on a city street where all the houses are the exact same distance from the street (or at least they were originally before modifications and add-ons.)
There is really nothing revolutionary about a little organic gardening, a small chicken flock and some honey bees (next spring's project.)  In fact, if the way canning jars are flying off the shelves of local stores is any indication; or the success of urban farming supply stores--our experimental version of deep living is in keeping with what many of our neighbors are up to as well.  In fact, on our little street, there are at least three other chicken coops, a beehive or two, and we could probably feed the entire city for a day if we all put our buckets of produce and fruit along the curb!

So, if this attempt to get real, make use, make do, grow things and give back is part of a greater movement to live more deeply, we are so digging it...

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