Frequently ideas about luxury and extravagance come to mind when reflecting on my life situation. I find myself living an extravagant life style, basking in luxury. Some looking from the outside in, would not use those words to describe what goes on here. As Mary Poppins says, "it all depends on your point of view".
Working as an RN in the Trauma / Burn Intensive Care Unit of a University Hospital, I knew what hard work was. Twelve hour shifts that regularly included a two to four hour dressing change where up to five people worked on one patient in a 100 degree Fahrenheit room while wearing plastic gowns, face coverings, and all hoping the person lived through the end of our shift, at least. To me, that's what hard work feels like. As I left nursing and started farming one phrase I heard repeatedly from people was, "oh farming, that's hard work". I still hear it quite a bit and I generally do not even try to explain my point of view any more. It is possible that I am not a farmer, especially in the sense that most people think of. It is also likely that people who say things like, "that's hard work" have a limited view of life's experiences.
I've been 'farming' now for over seven years and a clear distinction has developed for me between labor and work. Work is generally not something I participate in anymore. I prefer to labor. And it is similar to word choices people use when discussing God, or a higher power, or Universal Love, we use words that are comfortable for us. Labor for me has become something that sustains my luxury. It keeps my body in good physical shape and it feeds my soul like singing worship in a black church in Ypsilanti. I am good at labor, its one thing I was called here to do.
I love being barefoot outside as much as I can. When its cold out but the wood stove is kicking out heat, its feels wonderful to me to run out side, let my bare feet touch the earth for a few moments and then come inside for a nice pair of clean socks. For six or seven months of the year living a life that allows bare feet every day is a life of luxury. No sidewalks, no pavement, just the earth in all her lovely forms to walk upon, mud, grass, ankle high creeks.
I guess the food is one of the main reasons I feel luxury and extravagance in my everyday life. I love food. I love to eat. I'm a good eater. Physical labor goes well with an enjoyment of eating, they balance each other out. I am not talking about 'oh I had the best meal out at dinner last night'. The food here is amazing, as in nourishing, flavorful, and alive. I do feel qualified to describe food in this way. There was money in my life for a significant span of time and I have eaten at fine restaurants and shopped at quality, high end stores. This food is different. And I eat it every day. Every day, for every meal!
Bacon, how many days this week do I want to eat bacon? Just reach into the freezer and grab a package. Sugar. Just let the sugar lumps pour into a quart jar of kefir. Ice cream, oh the ice cream. As much as I can eat. Many times I sprinkle sugar on my ice cream as a topping. Cheese, oh good Lord the Cheese. Warm cheese curd, fried cheese curd, soft fresh cheese, soft older cheese, hard cheese, its all here. I can eat as much cheese as I want all day every day. OK so part of the luxury comes from my current understanding of human health. I know that the evil cholesterol they speak of is an illusion. I know that eggs and milk from this place are not even the same food as the eggs and 'milk' available to people who believe in cholesterol. I know that fat is what makes up the wall of each cell in my body. Each cell. So I need to eat some fat, and I do, unlimited amounts of fat. Because the fat from this food is fat in its pure, original form. Nourish, that's what the food here does for my body, it nourishes my body.
More than I realized, luxury does depend on one's point of view. It would be dangerous to eat all this glorious food while subscribing to western medical 'knowledge'. I believe it could make a person sick. So I stand in appreciation for my understanding of the perfect human body and the delicious food that has been abundantly provided to nourish that physical self.
I live an extravagant, luxurious life and I enjoy excellent physical health and I am so grateful!