Wednesday, January 7, 2015

In This New Year…away from the homestead





In this new year I have only spent one day at home thus far and it was amazing! My dearest friend and her daughter were visiting and we spent the first day of the year crafting, snacking, and moving through the day in utter slowness, meditating on the wishes we were to prepare for the evening ritual of the New Year. 

My work as a massage therapist has kept me from home almost every minute of the day lately and I'm beginning to feel a deep sense of loss for the days that I have not spent at home with my family, especially in this holiday season. The thought of cooking a full meal or washing the dishes and folding laundry sends a longing for the simple pace of being home. The simplicity of being a home-maker and mother sounds truly luxurious at the moment but with work winding down, this should be possible within a week or so. Despite knowing this, I've never missed home as much as I do this night. 

I've been reading some old journals of women homesteaders in western Montana, close to our Idaho home, to get a deeper look into what it was to homestead in the early days. Many women left their farms for up to five months in the winter months, went back east and worked as nannys, cooks, laundresses, and took on other domestic work to earn enough money for the remainder of the year living on their Montana homesteads. The law permitted this leave-of-absence for those women who were granted "free land" but they could not be away longer than the 5 months of late fall and winter in order to comply with the regulations one had to follow to become sole owner of their government-issued land.
I do hope my daily absence from home is not as lengthy….