One of the things about trying to live a more sustainable life is that is slows you down a little. You take time to shop locally and source small-footprint produce. You stop driving everywhere and start walking instead. Weekends are spent in the garden as often as possible, growing food and nourishing the soil. Real food, real chores, real life. And I love it, I really do. I wouldn’t go back to the life I had before. I was hardly a rampant consumer – I composted, I recycled, I was mindful in my actions – but I wasn’t as happy as I am now. I feel more connected: to the seasons, to the soils and to the community. I’m better at distinguishing between needs and wants, and I find myself wanting a whole lot less. I’m learning new, useful skills and becoming more confident and connected. I have less, I work harder for what I have, I am healthier and I am happier.

The one thing, though, that I never get enough of is time. Always in short supply, I try to squeeze the most out of the time I have, frequently pushing too far and crossing the line into exhaustion and illness. I burn out. It’s not a new state of affairs – I’ve always been this way – but it’s really not sustainable. Time is another resource, just like money, oil, water, nutrients and all the other resources I’m working to conserve. I need to treat it the same way: slow down, take stock, think about what I really need to be spending it on then prioritise my wants. There are so many things I enjoy doing and am passionate about; my curiosity is limitless but my time and energy are not.

I’m slowing down. I’m deciding what I really want (and I’m grateful that my travels have helped me start to work out exactly what that is).

This blog, this lovely little community I’m trying to nurture? Don’t worry, I’m keeping it, but instead of a well-tended neat little plot I’m going to let it ramble a little. The veg will get mixed in with the flowers and sometimes I’ll let the grass grow long. I can’t keep up with twice-weekly writings to the level of content I want to create, so instead I’ll write when I can: when I find myself with both the time and the inspiration. I’m doing the same in real life too, learning to live with the chaos that is the garden I’ve inherited, working with it as best as possible instead of struggling to enforce a sense of order. It’s ok if lettuces sprout in the pavers and kale self-sows in the lawn, if the grass grows in the beds and parsnips appear midst the potatoes. I don’t have to have this patch in perfect order for it to be productive, and nor do I need to blog on a timetable for this project to have value.

This weekend though, I’m having someone come around to give me hand to get a spot ready to plant my summer veg, because I really want tomatoes and zucchini this year, and likewise I’m still looking for guest bloggers to share content here. I love finding new ideas take root and spread.

So please forgive me when my virtual garden gets a little over-grown and help me celebrate the unexpected discoveries of richness in the chaos (like the kale seedlings I’ve been feasting on). Slow down a moment and breathe it all in.

Utterly gorgeous hellebores bought from Farm Gate Market, making my mantelpiece look elegant

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