Recently I was at a friend’s beautiful little off-grid house, and it was wash-up time.
Time to boil the kettle, get the big bowl and stand out at the table in the evening air, watching the sun set over the valley. That’s wash up time, at Autumn Farm.
For most of us, wash up means put it in the dishwasher. Or maybe the sink.
At Autumn Farm, wash up time means consider your garden around you, and your farm beyond.
Consider the day that’s been, in the very particular narrative of which bowls got used, which spoons, which pots.
And it means to be out amongst the landscape where you live, as the sun goes down, with the currawongs calling and the ducks quacking.
When all is finished, there’s the quick survey of which part of the kitchen garden most needs watering today, before you decide where to tip the water out.
And then it’s all done, and the night comes down.
This is a simple task. To most of us, it’s a chore and a bother and something to be out-sourced to technology (or someone else), if we can help it.
Or… there’s this sunset outdoor super low-tech mindfulness version.
The choice is ours, really.
I once had a friend, who was recovering from a brush with death, tell me about his main realisation as he came back to consciousness with his loved ones all around him. And it was:
Time is all we have. And how we chose to spend that time, makes up our entire life. There really isn’t anything else.
I kept thinking about that, as Annie did the dishes and Ashar watched and asked questions and the valley slipped into evening all around.
How we choose to spend the time we have. This is what defines us.
Have a good weekend, lovelies. Make it time well spent xx
Big thanks to Annie (and Genevieve in absence) of Autumn Farm for the warmth and general legendary-ness. Go follow their blog, and buy their chickens.
Beautiful. Yes, indeed.
Good morning K – lovely post. I remembered the outdoors washing up at Milkwood – simple and basic – just as I like it. There can also be something very meditative about washing up by hand. So are you going to be washing up in your garden now ?
Such a lovely thing to do. When I was young and we did the dishes this way, there were too many to carry outdoors to wash, but I’d do it now if I could. I’m re-blogging, just ’cause it’s too beautiful not to share . . . ~ Linne
Beautiful Kirsten. If only we had dinner that early that is was still light when we were done! Bring on summer.
My favourite post of yours, ever. Beautiful words, beautiful Valley, beautiful family 🙂
A beautiful reminder to stop wasting precious moments. Being mindful and living in the present, appreciating the now, can be really hard in such a fast paced society. I needed this reminder, thank you. x
I never thought a post about doing dishes could be so lovely. Thank you!
I enjoy washing dishes.
Reblogged this on I am NOT an urban hippie and commented:
I have seen many great articles this is the first I have ever re-blogged. Great read for the start of the weekend.
This is such a beautiful and thoughtful post to start the weekend with. Its made me take a few minutes just to stop and appreciate what I have around me, Thankyou!
Just what I needed to hear tonight Kristen, thank you :))
Gorgeous! Gorgeous photos, gorgeous family. Love these girls!! xox
Great post on enjoying the chores!
Reblogged this on RockyMountainHeidi's Blog and commented:
Posts like this remind me of why my dream is to live off-grid. I remember how meaningful even simple tasks seemed while visiting the Amish families in Lancaster, PA. I have wanted a farm since I was about 12 and reading posts like this and those of the tiny house movement make me wonder why I am still procrastinating. I don’t want to keep wasting time on stuff that makes me unhappy.
Visually stunning pictures, heartwarming words that make me think of my great-grandmothers farm which even in the late 20th century did not have indoor plumbing, it was in the high the Mountains. I loved it very much, although I did not like the outhouse at night, I was afraid I would fall in and never be found LOL.I miss it terribly now!
Beautiful Post. But then everything about Autumn Farm radiates connectedness and joy for the moment! We could be in the most idyllic place with the most sustainable/functional systems in place but without that state of mind everything could still be crap. Love those girls.x
I learned while living at Allsun farm that washing the dishes was the best way get my fingernails clean after a day in the dirt.
As someone who has had the honour to bask in the loveliness of Autumn Farm as I donned my gloves, heated the water and scrubbed, washed and laid out everything to dry, I thank you for recreating the beauty simplicity and yes connectedness that is experienced in such a seemingly simple act. Thank you.
Jay it was actually your post on Autumn Farm that made me join the dots between knowing my childhood friend Annie was on a farm somewheres and ‘that chicken micro CSA’ i’d heard of… so thank you! x
Wow, that is wonderful. So delighted that you were able to reconnect with Annie, you two would have so much to share. Has Jimmy finished filming with you all, can’t wait to see the results, he makes stunningly beautiful clips. xx j
Reblogged this on artsshesaid.