my best life…

It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say… but my voice feels inconsequential, too-quiet and diminished by the big things and noise of broader social & news media.

However, this morning, Saturday… my long-time favourite day of the week… it occurred to me that actually what I’ve been doing, repetitive and day-to-day as it is… is significant. I’m living my best life. And if I can have a best life, everyone should. If that’s not big and worthy of putting in some blog writing time, I don’t know what is.

How did I come to the realisation that this is my best life?

When I was living my city life, Saturday was my best day. It was the time I most felt like my real self; connected to my hopes and dreams… I’d walk to my local Carriageworks Farmers Market to buy fresh flowers and produce and walk home again to store some away for the work week ahead, prepare other of it for a special Saturday night dinner, put a load of washing on, water my balcony potted plants, tidy up and potter around our small apartment. But it only transpired one day each week… if nothing else got in the way.

More than 5 years into living my country village-treechange-downshifted life, this morning after I’d walked with Diesel down to the local produce sell/buy/swap meetup at the reserve where I swapped a bag of passionfruit for a bag of tomatoes, I was pegging laundry onto the old Hills Hoist clothesline in our backyard and I realised that although today -Saturday my best day- was much like the day before, the week before, the month and year before, it didn’t feel onerously repetitive at all… simply fulfilling.

These days, most days are like the best kind of Saturday, and that for me is my best life.

radical clothes drying apparatus
Solar and wind powered laundry drying apparatus…
hand-me-down mended and mended again
Hand-me-downs and ops shop buys mended and mended again. Small things that add up to help save the environment. 
in my kitchen_06_flowers
More is more… 4 days ago I brought indoors 3 roses to save the blooms from the heat… they looked lonely in the vase so I went back out and picked a posy of flowers… they’ve looked lovely on the kitchen table so today I added a few more to it…
in my kitchen_01
Grow something you can eat, anything… “To grow your own food gives you power and dignity. You know exactly what you’re eating because you grew it. It’s good, it’s nourishing and you did this for yourself, your family and your community.” – Karen Washington
in my kitchen_02
Growing is only half it. Storing produce is the other.
in my kitchen_04_seed saving
Nothing is wasted. Soft tomato? Save the seeds.
in my kitchen_03
Local grown roma tomatoes and elephant garlic from Dolly’s Run.
in my kitchen_06_basil and snail
Never assume… just check and wash fresh produce.
in my kitchen_05_summer tomatoes
Summer alchemy. Tomatoes, garlic, basil.
in my garden_02_compost
Always need more compost…
in my garden_03
Garden therapy. Big or small, whatever style: tidy, organised, or wild but tended… it’s only you who has to find it useful and beautiful.
chookies
Getting chickens was the icing on the cake of dreams that came true… Here they’re helpfully eating unwanted donuts.
Deez and buddy
Diesel… “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”- Roger Caras
in my garden_01_do what you love
Usually I water the garden by hauling a watering can around but every now and then on a warm day I ask the G.O. to hook up a pump and hose to one of our rainwater tanks for the sheer joy that hose watering the plants brings me.

“If you do what you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” – Marc Anthony


25 thoughts on “my best life…

  1. I actually had very similar words to begin my blog post today, but at the last minute I deleted them, thinking I was doing a disservice to my life that I love–the every day beauty I see in nature, the growing garden, making sauerkraut, cooking, home crafting, writing, drawing, photographing…What’s not to love and how is that not a revelation that life can be this good? Your life is a beautiful creation that you dreamed and have worked into being! Well done you!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That you had similar concerns doesn’t surprise me at all. However, despite the broader events of the world, that our small, longstanding blog community continue to make the best of the lives they love and endeavour to share the inspiration and comfort it brings encourages me to accept the other big things and noise but focus on the immediate and nurturing. It is quite the revelation that amidst it all, we continue to find the good life we dreamed of and pursued. We are here, right where we need to be!

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  2. Dale, this post speaks to my heart. I love the positive message that each day is your best life. I never really thought of it that way, but isn’t it lovely to reflect on each day and consider what is presented and find happiness and joy in the actions and tasks before us? Your photographs beautifully highlight the celebration of your work and creativity.

    There is something wonderful about clotheslines. It was one of the first things we put up when we moved here. And I love all of the shade in your yard/gardens. It makes me think of the quality of air under that magnificent canopy of lushness… like a huge expanse of oxygen to cleanse and heal our bodies.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I get the impression from each blog post you write and your photos that you too are living your best life… so many of us are… naturally, without much consideration. Now we’ve considered it, we can appreciate what is simple, beautiful, meaningful all the more.
      Although sometimes I miss the luxury of a clothes dryer warmed towel after a shower, I don’t miss having the appliance. Even in our city apartment I dried laundry on a rack in the sun on the balcony.
      We were fortunate that the garden contained a number of mature deciduous trees… smart planting by the previous owners over the years, they now form a summer canopy and we’ve encouraged and added various plantings. The greenery provides privacy and natural insulation to the house, reduces dust from the road, cools & cleans the air, provides habitat for birds… and therefore entertainment for us!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Perfect sentiments, and I think a growing awareness of many people who have not transformed their lives willingly as you did, but have now discovered that this “new” life has a lot of merit. Enjoyed your photos as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. The old adage “the journey is more important than the destination” has a lot to answer for. Sometimes we are so focussed on journeying its distractions and attractions detract from our recognition of the worthiness of time & place, and being in the moment without movement… a new normal for many, which I’m heartened to see being embraced.

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  4. There is a Swedish word “fika” meaning a moment to slow down to appreciate the good things in life….. you have accomplished this and the tranquility and love for your life shines through your post. They say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder & I can see the beauty in your everyday life … I love the way you write and your pictures bring your words to life. It’s a different type of awesome when you love what you do every single minute of every single day. Happiness today tomorrow and always my friend ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I remarked earlier to the G.O. that one of the things that enables me to appreciate my life is the good and likeminded company I keep… your name and that of other commenters here was mentioned. Regardless of distance and location, it’s wonderful to know that whatever we’re going through we’re doing it together.

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  5. You and the G.O. have created a lovely pocket of contentment. It’s a true talent. In a non-Covid world, I’d soon be sitting near Deez, looking out over that green and pleasant land, and the smell of tomato, garlic and basil that has risen in my imagination looking at your photos would be experienced for real. Mouse would be sprawled beside Deez, the blokes would be in the shed poking at stuff, you and Vera and I would be talking food, eating food, making food, and all would be right with the world. You’ve made a best life that can be shared. That’s a real talent.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Nice to see you back Dale – I don’t have a garden but I do have a rotary clothesline – which for many is unusual type of tool in this modern of age of washers that are almost a dryer or standalone dryers (I have neither but do have an ordinary washer).

    Your post reminds of country and as I look out of my ranch-slider bank of windows, I see houses cheek by jowl and peeping out between some scaffolding from a large infill house group – but in the distance some trees which I know are across the thru’ road, the road I cannot see. I am definitely not in the country/rural wise.

    But I do have some grapevines and a lime citrus tree – planted by a previous tenant. I don’t think the grapes are going to be as luscious as last year…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re fortunate indeed to have a rotary clothesline, grapevine and lime tree. When we lived in the city I would’ve killed for that trio… That you mention them suggests an understanding of their merit. And an appreciation of the nature of fine things is half the battle of living our best life. Indeed we are very country, and here although there is a grapevine we never get any grapes; the birds and chooks have that covered!

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  7. I recognise that feeling Dale, that sense of insignificance and impotency when beginning a blog post, a fear much greater than writer’s block. As one comes to fully understand the inevitable path of this beloved planet, it’s hard to find anything significant to say. And yet you did so, eloquently and honestly, and most importantly, without grandstanding or preaching. Your writing about the repetitive nature of these everday tasks is beautiful and meaningful in a mad world. I really enjoyed this post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. You sum up the nature of my hesitation so well. I couldn’t bear adding to the noise by shouting “look at me me me…” but rather would do as we do, quietly share -subversively below the noise- so any who encounter may take from it what they please or need. I have had the pleasure of taking much in from you and likeminded others that very much contributes to the integrity of my best life. I am simply as they say, paying it forward, in an effort to enable the beauty and meaningfulness of the everyday to prevail.

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  8. Yes, yes, yes a million times yes! This awful year the Offspring has discovered the joy of planting, caring for and harvesting our own produce. It’s not a huge amount but we’ve had 2 meals using home grown snow peas, one using home grown heritage carrots, a peach each [they’re not quite ripe yet] and very soon our baby lettuces will be big enough to pick. And in a little while we’ll have heaps of fejoias and pumpkins.

    Sometimes I think that we all need a time out period to become reacquainted with what our best lives really are. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It hadn’t clicked until synchronicity worked its magic and I suddenly saw it clearly… for me, of course my best life is Saturday [almost] every day! I love that you are doing and finding joy in homegrown life… it changes everything 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Odd how the tumblers suddenly drop into place. I just realised that I was about the same age as the Offspring is now when I started being seriously interested in ‘gardening’. I’d watched my Dad, and helped him too [when I was a kid] but that road to Damascus moment didn’t happen until much much later. Now I can’t imagine not being able to grow and harvest food. And watch as things grow. There is such pleasure in seeing a flower become a tiny fruit and eventually turn into something delicious to eat. Ahem, I’ll stop rambling now. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the glimpse into your life, your thinking and your garden. It is beautiful, so lush! And it is wonderful you have found contentment in appreciating so many things. We are lucky to live in places that are so gorgeous, and to notice the little things. Saturdays have always been my favorite as well, even now when each day seems much like the one before. Somehow they are full of promise.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. This summer has been kind to the garden. I think the best kind of Saturday feels like the space in between. Not the working week, not quite Sunday when you’re torn between recreation / rest / preparing for the week ahead. I was feeling the contentment but hadn’t until that moment understood the bigger picture… that it wasn’t fleeting, it was my life.

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