Vandaag publiceren we een gastbericht van de pen van Sarah Elizabeth Smith. Sinds dit jaar is Sarah de trotse eigenaar van Sweet Soil Organic Farm, een boerderij aan de oostkust van Canada, in de provincie New Brunswick. Tijdens haar opleiding tot landbouwster heeft Sarah een tijdje in een Tiny House gewoond. Hier haar inspirerend verhaal (in het Engels).
The summer of 2012 was my first season living in the Tiny House that was parked on Windy Hill Organic Farm in New Brunswick. The small pine cabin had been built by hand in British Columbia, on a utility trailer, and then driven across the country and parked in amongst the trees and just up from the pond when Will and Alyson decided to move out to New Brunswick.
I would stay for three years, each season from May until October – the Winter months being too cold in New Brunswick to stay in the un-insulated space. But, for the Spring, Summer and Fall, the Tiny House was my little sanctuary, small enough to feel cozy, just right for one person, enough space for yoga practice and beautiful wooden shelves that covered the walls and housed all of my books. I was there to learn how to farm.
The Tiny House lends itself well to this rural lifestyle, a lifestyle that merges indoor life with the surrounding natural environment. I could store very little in the small fridge and would gather eggs every few days and pick what I needed from the fields just outside my door. The Tiny House was parked up the hill from the raspberry patch and I would often head outside in the morning fog with a bowl to collect berries for breakfast. At the end of rainy work days, I would curl up next to the space heater on the couch that I had made from a garden bench; socks and pants hanging to dry from the ladder that lead up to the loft. On hot and humid days, all of the windows would be open and the breeze would blow through the entire space, cooling everything in its path, curtains fluttering in time with the leaves on the Poplar trees outside.
These small pleasures mean so much more when the excesses of life are stripped away and simplicity emerges. I had a compost toilet, a shower, a propane stove-top, a mini fridge and sink…and that was it. In the Tiny House I was forced to be tidy, to recycle, reuse and buy as little as possible, both because I didn’t need much and because of the constraints of the small space. I was in the Tiny House for the experience; to be surrounded by trees and fields, to rely on my own resourcefulness and to live with an awareness of daily routine that is only possible when modern conveniences like a flush toilet and extra storage are not available. I had an internet signal, sometimes, but no television, microwave, phone, air conditioner or dishwasher. These things, though we believe that they make our lives easier, seem to disrupt our connection with the sacred nature of daily tasks. Sweeping up, washing and drying dishes, putting up the mosquito netting at night, growing food, baking bread, making Dandelion wine… emptying the compost and the compost toilet bucket every few days. These are tasks that brought me into a peaceful rhythm. If done with presence and attention these menial, mundane activities can teach so much about being mindful, building patience and spending time, uninterrupted with one’s own mind. Caring for a space – the smaller the better – is an extension of caring for oneself and the Tiny House makes it necessary to slow down and think about what really matters.