After a bit of a difficult winter, it was such a relief to see the world turn green again. The change of seasons is just so much more visible in the countryside than in the city. Nature is all around you, there is no hiding from the barren trees and the browns and greys that dominate the colour palette. Seeing those first buds appear, the green haze that turns into a vibrant explosion of life has such a big impact on our mood and general outlook. Not that the weather changed that much really, but grey skies and rain are just easier to bear when everything else is coloured in all shades of green. The difference with last years’ spring could not be greater. Last year we were heading into a drought, this year half the garden has turned into a swamp. It’s the 21st of June and we still had the stove on last week!
Needless to say, the garden is in a sorry state compared to this time last year. It is so wet that moss is starting to cover the beds. Seeds aren’t sprouting and the ones that do are still very small. I’ve changed strategy a bit and have gone with easier crops this year: roots, beans and legumes that don’t need much care. No eggplants, peppers, cabbages or other fussy plants. My pregnancy has been timed perfectly for the garden: my second trimester coinciding with the first months of spring. This means I still had enough energy to actually get the necessary work done to get everything going. It still brings me so much joy to put in this work and see things grow. It’s sad to see those little plants struggle now but it looks like we’ll actually have a week without rain coming up. This wet weather isn’t great for the yurt either, it seems to smell a bit more like wet sheep now and then, and algae are growing on the north facing side. It seems a light coloured canvas wasn’t a great idea, but the chocolate brown and forest green option just wasn’t very appealing.
As far as yurt life goes, plans have changed yet again. They weren’t even plans to begin with, really, more like ideas. It’s not until we start acting on our ideas that they turn into plans. Before that, they’re just options we’re exploring. It might seem like we’re changing our minds constantly, but to us it’s just a natural way of following the flow that we’re in. Haha that sounds so vague, but it just comes down to coming up with options and then living with those for a while to see which ones seem like the best fit. The last time I wrote, we were focusing on land instead of houses again, wanting to find our own place but continue living in the yurt. Even though we tried to shift our focus in the hope that we would be able to settle on this option, we still have not been able to decide.
Even though we have moved to France officially, we’re still in a kind of safe position. We’re in the backyard of Stef’s parents and we live in a temporary dwelling. As long as we stay here it feels like we aren’t fully committed. We were sure we wanted this country life in France, but we haven’t taken that final step of buying property. The fact that there’s a baby on the way makes it even less logical to take that step now, as our priorities might shift in a way that we can’t predict. Apart from that it’s also just plain scary to give up our freedom and tie ourselves to a location, and to invest great sums of money. So even though we thought we were ready, it turns out we aren’t quite yet.
Fortunately, Stef came up with another option. What we do know is that it’s time for us to be independent again. We also want to stay in France. One point where we differ is that I don’t want to spend our next winter in the yurt. I’ve felt unsafe one too many times during these winter storms, and that has left a bit of a bitter aftertaste. I could stand it if it were just the two of us, but not with a baby. Having a baby is a great unknown already, and I at least want to be sure that our house will protect us from the elements. It sounds very reasonable put like this, but Stef would rather stay in the yurt. The thing is that the yurt held even in the worst weather, it is mostly my incapability of dealing with uncertainty. His other point is that we have a very low-cost life right now, and paying rent would add to our costs significantly.
Renting a place would give us more benefits though: we could live in a bigger village where we’d have more interaction with others. We are really quite isolated now and that doesn’t help with integrating. We could also move to a location closer to where we’d want to buy land, so about half an hour east of here. That doesn’t sound like much but it makes a difference in both climate and proximity to a small town that we really like. Plus we could adjust to life with a child in a higher level of comfort, like running hot water and less maintenance. As you can tell, I’m convinced :). We’d still spend the next few months in the yurt though, it is just the best place to be in summer. We’ll see what we decide. I’m already very curious about what I’ll write for this series next time, who knows what life will be like then!