Do you dream about living a simple life in the countryside? To finally be in a place where you could have room for the kids to run and play? And have space for gardens, a flock of laying hens, an orchard and maybe even a dairy cow?
You can’t deny it: the simple country life tugs on your heartstrings. And you love the idea of making the move to an acreage or small farm!
But there’s something you need to know. Something I must tell you.
I must tell you why the simple country life is hard.
I’m convinced that while social media and the online world has it’s benefits, it doesn’t often help you form a realistic picture of life in the countryside!
Because this lifestyle entails and encompasses so much, you can’t possibly convey it’s realities through the internet. No more than you could convey the complexities of your current life through a 5 minute video or blog post.
The simple country life is good. But friend, it’s not easy.
Losses occur, again and again.
Most of the time your setbacks can’t be remedied in a month or two. Or even in half a year.
Unlike many lifestyles you could choose to live, you’re heavily invested into everything around you. And when (not if) things don’t work out, you feel it keenly.
That’s why the simple country life is hard!
It’s difficult to walk into a chicken coop and find the entire flock of hens you raised from “chickhood,” slaughtered by a blood-thirsty weasel who killed not for food, but for the taste of blood.
You might squirm when you think about the money you lost. That you’re now set back a year. And just when you thought buying eggs was a thing of the past, you’re purchasing them from the neighbors again.
But the thing that really bites? Keeping chickens began with a dream and desire. Your dream! You planned and waited for day when you could finally keep chickens. And you worked hard to make it happen. You invested time and energy into raising those baby birds. Maybe certain ones even gained a special place in your heart.
And just like that…you lost everything.
More often than not, the simple country life isn’t about sipping lemonade on the porch while watching the summer sun go down. It’s not about placidly making cheese from your farm-fresh milk. Or luxuriously baking homemade bread in a freshly ironed apron.
It’s a busy, invested lifestyle, riddled with hard physical labor and losses.
But here’s the interesting thing about it!
The losses are exactly what makes this lifestyle is so special.
We live in a society that has cushioned us on all 4 sides. And while cushions are nice, they also deadened our senses. We don’t feel pain and as a result, we don’t feel the victories either.
But that changes when you step into the simple country life. Your cushions disappear and life reveals more of it’s gnarly side to you.
When (not if) you fall, the landing hurts.
If you take on too much and run out of steam, you pay for it with a loss of some kind.
And even if you do it right, nature might kick you in the backside anyway.
This life is untamed and unpredictable. You feel the pain. As a result, you more keenly feel the joys of it as well.
Once you’ve lost an entire flock of hens to a predator, you’ll find a new appreciation rising in your heart when you finally have a flock scratching about in the orchard.
When deer eat your crops and you have to buy bland-tasting vegetables from the grocery store or supermarket, you’ll value those veggies in a special way next gardening season!
If you have to butcher your old dairy cow because she will no longer “take,” you’ll be especially grateful for the next one and what she contributes to the kitchen!
And that’s what endears people to this way of living.
Even if the simply country life is hard…
….even if leaves you feeling like you’ve been kicked in the gut…
…even if it comes with painful losses, it also gives you something very special.
It gives you the ability to more fully enjoy those moments when things are right in your world. And that makes it all worthwhile!
Daniel Wengerd says
WOW, the first blog I read hits me between the eyes of truth that I needed to hear. I have a small farm (11 sheep, 3 donkeys , and 50 chickens,ducks, Guineas) but because of work that is taking so much of my time and I’m exhausted by it I was feeling is having a farm worth it. (Even though I LOVE it) thank you so much. I heard you on Pioneering Today podcast and I wanted to find out who you are and I must say an answer to my hearts prayer. Thank you and have a great day.
Sounds like you have your hands full! 🙂 It takes a lot to work to live the simple country life and sometimes, it can be difficult to know when to scale back. Because the lifestyle does bring so much joy. So glad you found encouragement from this!
All the best,