Embracing Country Life

Texas-7The husband in the Hill Country.

As humans, I believe we are on a constant quest to identify meaning in our lives, determine what brings us joy, and work on incorporating more of that into our daily lives. In our modern-day, super-connected world, it can be difficult to tune everything out and tap into our true joys and true selves. We all know this. I am definitely not the first to say these things. I think it is good though to occasionally remind ourselves that we are all works-in-progress - in the best sense of those words. Our paths twist and turn, but ultimately we are all trying to be our best selves we can be at any given moment, and even if we lose our way, we always seek to return to where our hearts fill most full.

Back on the Summer Solstice of 2012, my husband and I got married. He really is the love of my life and my dearest and best friend. At the end of that year, we bought a house out in the Texas Hill Country with dreams of farmer's markets and solar panels. (We are kind of like neo-hippies, but with deodorant and without dreadlocks. Plus hippies don't exactly reside in Texas, not even in Austin... unless you are talking about forty years ago.)

Anyway, in 2013, our intentions to begin building our sustainable utopia got sidetracked with work and travel. We did raise a baby sheep for about eight months, but we never ended up getting him any woolly buddies and eventually had to sell him at auction due to being consistently out of town. I cried. A lot. Our dreams of country life had been tainted, in part because we became overwhelmed with our to-do lists, and in part because everyone around us began telling us how young we were (early/mid twenties) and how we needed to move to the city and live! it! up! because we were missing out. We started spending more time in the city again (lots of cars, lots of people, lots of endless navigating between cars and people) and have recently come to the conclusion that we prefer country living. We don't care that we're not hip barflies who frequent the hottest spots downtown. In the country, we don't have to walk our dogs on leashes, or try to work our schedule around avoiding driving in peak traffic hours, or turn down the music to avoid irritating the neighbors, or put on pants when we go outside. There is a freedom and peace out here that is soothing, even though sometimes we do miss the action and ease of access that comes with being centrally located. I'm not going to lie.

But here we are, slowly making our way through 2014 and suddenly we feel revitalized. Maybe it's because Spring has finally made its way to our house and the peach blossoms are blooming. The bees have arrived once more, hundreds if not thousands of them, gently buzzing around a flowery tree in our backyard. The smell of fresh rain and dirt is encouraging us to build garden beds. Watching the dogs excitedly sprint around in the wide open and chase after deer makes me giddy and I sprint with them. Being out here brings my husband and I joy, maybe not all the time, but most of the time. Nature and our connection to it brings meaning and significance to our lives, helping our hearts fill full and creative and steady. We are excited again to be out in the boonies, and so grateful we have the ability to live in such a beautiful environment as the Texas Hill Country. I look forward to shifting back a bit into our original country homesteading dream and sharing that with you. Having a blog is a way of encouraging myself to be creative. Living in the country provides that same motivation.

Hi, I'm Jackie, blogging at WestOfYall.com! Part-time country girl, part-time city girl. Featuring art, food, community, and mezcal mixed drinks. Explore Texas, New Mexico, and the rest of the world with me! I'm on Twitter  @ westofyall

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