I think that I want to be a little old lady living in a little house in the woods when I grow up.
I met one once; she was a wiry little thing who had come to volunteer at a community garden I regularly worked, and over weeding we got to talking. She started describing a large garden down in a more urban setting where people paid a nominal fee to have a plot of land available to them to grow whatever they wished. I asked to visit it, and the next week I met her over there.
The garden reminded me of a giant patchwork quilt, as every square was different. Some were full of flowers but most were full of a variety of vegetables. My new friend told me almost everything she ate for the entire year was grown on her little patch of leased land. She had mastered compact gardening long before it became a fad and was growing potatoes in a bottomless five gallon bucket. She had all sorts of things jammed in her lot, and she gave me one, most beautiful, beet to take home for supper. It was amazingly good.
Anyway, she’s one person I think of when I long to live a more simple life, one where I grow what I eat, spend days working in the garden, sitting on my porch (my little house in the woods has to have a porch), watching my birds, reading good books, taking naps. Though I highly doubt the lady I met ever takes a nap.
Another role model I have, someone I’d like to grow up to be ‘just like,’ is a runner friend of mine who is approaching her 70’s and still running marathons. We call her our “energizer Betty” because she just keeps going and going. Those of us younger all want to grow up just like her. She has thirteen grandchildren and she keeps up with them all. Though sometimes I know after they go home she does take a nap.
I’ve been lucky to have met women who live their lives in a manner I covet; healthy, active, peaceful, content. In my hectic world it’s good to see that life in the slow lane has it’s benefits, that it’s OK to aspire to something slower, calmer and more centered.
Here’s to all the wiry little old ladies out there living in little (or not so little) houses in the woods (or not in the woods) who are enjoying their lives to the fullest.
When I grow up I’m going to be just like you.