I thought I’d stop writing these posts after I wrote about all four seasons in our yurt. As it turns out, the way we’ve experienced this second winter is very different from the first one and I feel it is important to add to the story. I am wondering now if every new season won’t be different from the years before. I know for sure this year will not be the same! So, this winter. When writing the last Daily Life post, at the end of Autumn, I wrote about how we’d reached a point where the enthusiasm doesn’t carry you as far anymore. Doubts start to creep in, and the great amount of options you have actually don’t make it easier. I’ll tell you now that I’m writing this from the other side – we’ve gone through and we’ve come out, though it took us almost all winter to do so.
I’m saying ‘us’ and ‘we’, but I know this affected Stef much less than it did me, just to be clear. I think I hit the deepest point at the beginning of February. December had been quite warm and sunny even. January was colder but still not much rain or snow. Then came February, which was pretty much all rain all month. A pretty bad storm hit the region that lasted for two days. Gusts of up to 90 km/h hit the yurt with such force that we saw the roof lift upward. We put up our storm installation and fortunately, the yurt held. I couldn’t take it though, I felt very unsafe not knowing how much the yurt could actually take. I fled to the house with the dog, while Stef stayed to keep an eye on things.
Looking back now I can see it was just a culmination of things – being uncertain about what you want but feeling you have to make decisions anyway is uncomfortable, living in a dwelling that suddenly doesn’t feel that safe is uncomfortable, and a lack of daylight is not helping. On top of that I felt very uncomfortable in my body, with all those pregnancy changes like fatigue and nausea. Winter is a more difficult time on the countryside in itself. There’s just no distraction from the barren trees and the gloomy skies. In the city there’s always plenty to do and to distract you. Out here you’re much more confronted with your surroundings. We’ve heard it said by others who live here too, winter seems longer and harder, even though objectively speaking it really isn’t. But maybe in the end it makes you a stronger person because you can’t escape, you just have too learn to not let it affect you in a negative way.
But with the return of the sun our faith returned as well. The funny thing is, technically we’re not much closer to figuring out exactly what it is that we want. It’s just that we’ve found more peace in not knowing, being uncomfortable. We watched this video on Youtube about a couple who moves into a van and travels around Canada and the US. They’ve seen the #vanlife photo’s and read the stories, but as it turns out it is not at all as romantic as it seemed. Things go wrong all the time, you have to constantly deal with things you’re not used to. In the first few months they experience pretty miserable moments. But they learn to live with uncomforted vanlife, they find peace in it and discover that it is about finding that peace within yourself, not about the level of comfort in your surroundings. This hit the mark for us, just this realisation that attitude is all that needs to change and actually something your have control over.
Things go wrong all the time. Just now, the power suddenly went out. We had to go to the house to check with our headlights and prepare ourselves to fix whatever the problem was (a blown fuse, as usual). The list of things that need fixing or building or upkeep is long and ever growing. But we’re trying to change the way we look at these things: living the way we do, that’s just part of the deal. They’re not things that go wrong, they’re just things that happen. And almost always, we are capable of fixing whatever needs fixing.
At the moment we’re moving away from the house hunt back to the land hunt, but it’s still not definite. For now, we love living in a yurt and we don’t want to go back to living in a house anytime soon. That wonderment we had in the beginning is back. We sit on the couch, looking around, and say to each other how wonderful our yurt is and how much we love living in it. The weather also has been amazing these past weeks, all sunshine and outdoor lunches. And now that I’m halfway my pregnancy, I have my energy back and I can eat what I want. My body is getting bigger, our baby just started kicking and it finally feels like what I imagined being pregnant would feel like. I can’t wait to start up the veg garden again and I hope we’ll get some chickens this year. And who knows, maybe we’ll find that piece of land to continue building our little yurt paradise.