It is the solstice. Sunna, our sweet puppy, is barking large, fast circles around the property. I am up early to write from the garden, strong cup of coffee in hand. The sun is rising over the ridge and together with the forest paints designs on the wet soil. The bird songs are many and harmonious. Our woodpecker makes its echoing sounds trailing off to silence. The air is cool with a tint of warmth that tells me this will be a hot day. Summer solstice is here. I am happy to report that we’ve made it through a full cycle of seasons plus six-weeks in the tiny house.
Has it been easy? No. Has it been worthwhile? Yes. When I look back through my journal, I see growth. The cycles of nature give me a lens through which to view my own patterns. Living in a tiny house has brought me even closer to nature. I love having a view of the outside, no matter which way I look from my perch on our homemade couch, and the way the outdoors are so integral to how we live.
Moving in in spring, we had the chance to adjust to our small living quarters while also having the outdoors available as a retreat. It was a time of moving outside, just like the animals, into the sun to find food and sing. I felt joy! We made it to our big goal of living on our land and in our own mortgage-free house.
Summer, with her heat and light brought us out even further into the world. We made new friends, had deck gatherings, launched the blog and celebrated.
As fall moved in, I felt a need to gather strength. I feared the long shadows, the coming of the dark, the anticipation of cabin fever. But, I stayed with it. I felt the feelings, rather than running from them. We gathered up our outdoor stuff, Karl built a shed, and we cuddled up.
Winter sat on me with her darkness. I felt frozen, still. Though our home was warm and lovely, I felt lonely. I was seeking my way out of the darkness. I learned that being honest with myself about how I am feeling is courageous. To share the not-so-pretty feelings with others brings on a vulnerability which makes me feel happy to be alive.
I’ve said it before: there are many joys to living in a tiny space, one is that there is nowhere to go. Nowhere to hide from myself, no room to try to fill the voids with stuff (thereby avoiding the stuff of me, of my relationships to my family, to my friends, to the earth).
The contemplation and introspection of winter blossomed in spring. The garden was mostly free of rocks and the garlic I planted in fall popped up along with the lilies. Our house got bigger! I finished up a four-month public school teaching assignment and moved to working part-time for a non-profit with the mission of sustainability. I dug and planted and weeded so much that my fingers were stiff and sore when I woke up.
Now, it is the solstice, the longest day of the year. I am able to reflect on the sun’s dance across the sky and watch myself dance with her. It is at times an inward dance and at others an outward dance. All of it holds the glory of being alive.