So here we are. The Lady Farmer Guide to Slow Living is at long last coming into the world. It’s been a longer project than it started out to be, but isn’t that often the case?
It wasn’t the writing of it that took a while. That part came fairly quickly and easily a couple of winters ago as I sat by the fire every day, exploring the questions around slow living and a sustainable lifestyle– how to think differently about our food, clothing, and spaces, trying to make the whole concept of reframing the way we live a little more approachable. At that point, the audience for such things was growing, but still relatively small.
We had planned to have it out about a year and a half ago, for our first Lady Farmer Slow Living Retreat. There were stops and starts, and long periods where we got distracted by other things and had it sitting on the back burner.
Then once we really got the process going, it seemed like there was one obstacle after another. Everything took longer than expected, one step forward and two steps back, hurry up and wait…for weeks, and then months. Slow living apparently applies to slow publishing!
Since we thought it would be out long before this, we’ve been talking about it for a while, and would occasionally get inquiries. “Where can I get it? When?”
“It’s coming…hopefully soon!” That was pretty much all we could say for a long time.
Why such a long labor for this seemingly small baby?
And now, it seems, the birth is imminent. What’s amazing is that our little book, which embraces “cultivating sustainable simplicity close to home,” right on the front cover, is showing up in the world at the very moment when this way of thinking and being is quickly shifting from a fringe movement to a necessity.
Suddenly, within the last few weeks, it seems that everything has changed. We face the closing of schools, offices, libraries, event venues, restaurants, cancellations of concerts, sporting events, church services, travel and gatherings of all kinds.
In short, the world has changed, our lives have changed, and certainly, our daily routines have changed almost overnight.
We are being directed to go home and stay home. We haven’t even had time to fully experience this new paradigm yet, to even see what it looks like and feels like. We don’t know what it all means at this point, or how long it will last.
These unknowns create a lot of fear and anxiety because we are humans, and generally not at our best when faced with uncertainty. Our impulse is to sell off stocks and go buy up as much milk and toilet paper as we can find. We’re already finding out that these knee-jerk behaviors don’t help — they are short-lived at best and have nothing to do with the long run. So once we calm down a little bit and have a chance to look around at what’s really going on, then what can we do?
This small work includes stories, tips, recipes, resources, ideas and questions to get you thinking about your own relationship to the planet, what you eat, what you wear, where you live and how you live.
It will open you up to asking questions about the things you need every day, and hopefully, inspire you to take steps towards a greater connection with those things, their sources and the stories behind them. It is but a very small beginning in the process of paradigm-shifting, but it is a place to start.
We aren’t experts in any of this, merely residents of this planet who are inclined to ponder such things. Here we offer our own observations for reflection and discussion, practical suggestions, and perhaps some gentle guidance stemming from our own thoughts and experiences.
None of us really know what’s to come (do we ever?) but we almost certainly have some challenging days ahead. Stay home, take care of yourself, bake, make, plant, eat good food, get plenty of sleep…wash your hands.
In the time you would be running, attending, doing, and scurrying…sit with your loved ones, read, watch, look and wonder.
Drink kefir and elderberry, declutter, nap, sing, talk, walk, dance. Don’t let fear and panic rob you of this chance to reset. Curl up with The Lady Farmer Guide to Slow Living and explore how, in even the smallest of ways, you can shift your life towards more sustainability, ease, and joy. These are new times, this is an opportunity for a new way of being. Could it be that slow living is the new way?