Over the last hundred years or so, the term “homestead” has evolved to a new meaning, and there are about as many interpretations as there are homesteaders. It used to mean qualifying for free government land because you lived on it, built a house on it, and so on. The original homesteaders had to create their own power and supply their own water – they lived off-the-grid.
|Homestead in Dakotas, ca. 1860|
The modern homestead is not a single idea, but many ideas and attitudes. Broadly defined, homesteading is a lifestyle of simple self-sufficiency. The term may apply to anyone who follows the back-to-the-land movement by adopting a sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle.
For us, it means a desire for a simple living, away from the rat race; a love of nature and a preference to be in it; working hard and enjoying it; being self-sufficient; living outside of the box. We have learned (or are trying to) to slow down, relax, and let things be; to enjoy the moment while it’s transpiring. We’ve learned to love the cloudy days and rainy days as much as the bright sunny days. Each day is unique and necessary, for all the life around us, which is constantly in flux while it plays out the cycle of life. It’s beautiful, it’s fulfilling and it’s rewarding.
My husband and I both enjoyed a bit of adventure in life, so the sometimes harsh weather and unpredictability of living off-grid on a mountain ridge doesn’t bother us at all. Some people pity our lifestyle. Some people envy it. I suppose regardless of what side you lean towards, you can come to the honest conclusion that we are just a little bit crazy. We tend to thrive on just a little bit of organized chaos around here. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.