In the Barnyard: Who are Bohemian Farmgirls?

Bohemian Farmgirl is something that has evolved over years of trying to figure out how to weave all of the meaningful parts of my life together. This is what it means to me, and if it touches part of your soul then my guess is that you are a Bohemian Farmgirl too.

1. Growing a Family--First and foremost, comes family. This may be your biological or chosen family, but whomever your family includes, it's roots dig deep and provide grounding for growth above the surface of the soil.

2. Planting a Farm--Modern homesteading is a way of life for a Bohemian Farmgirl. This may include anything from a windowsill garden to acres of land, buying local and supporting small farms to growing and raising all of your food yourself, and cultivating dreams of homesteading no matter if you live in the city or country.

3. Nurturing a Creative Life--This is the heart of a Bohemian Farmgirl and what brings us all together creating a community of ideas and inspiration. Living a creative life is the wellspring of joy that provides energy to make our dreams reality, no matter what the circumstances. And we all help each other along the way.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hello My Name is Christina, and I have Barnheart

I just finished reading Barnheart, the follow up book to Made From Scratch by Jenna Woginrich.  There were passages in this book that made my heart ache because I could empathize with her longing.  I read the entire chapter on gardening with my vision blurry from tears.  Do you have Barnheart?  Woginrich writes:

How to Tell If You're Infected:
"......It's a sharp, targeted depression, a sudden overcast feeling that hits you while you're at work or standing in the grocery store checkout line.  It's a dreamer's disease, a mix of hope, determination, and grit.  It attacks those of us who wish to God we were outside with our flocks, feed bags, or harnesses instead of sitting in front of a computer screen.  When a severe attack hits, it's all you can do to sit still.  The room gets smaller, your mind wanders, and you are overcome with the desire to be tagging cattle ears or feeding pigs.....The symptoms are mild at first.  You start reading online homesteading forums and shopping at cheese making supply sites on your lunch break.  You go home after work and instead of turning on the television, you bake a pie and study chicken coop building plans. Then somehow, somewhere along the way you realize that you're the happiest when you're weeding the garden or collecting eggs from the henhouse.  It's all downhill from there.  When you accept that a fulfilling life requires tractor attachments and a septic system, it's too late.  You've already been infected with the disease...." (page 8)

Sigh....I don't even have a garden to weed or a henhouse to collect eggs from and I know I have a bad case of barnheart.  I devoured this book in 3 days because I wanted to know if there is a cure.  There isn't really.  Just the surrender into the disease and moving forward towards your very own barn.  Some days I just get really sad when I look out my window overlooking Amsterdam Avenue in New York City.  Some days I wish like heck that I was a city person so I wouldn't feel so sick with longing all the time.  I want to be one of those people who are happy with what they've got and lives in the present moment.  But I feel like I am betraying a part of who I am when I deny that I want more than anything to be breaking my back in a vegetable garden  (MY vegetable garden), hanging up clothes to dry on the clothesline (barefoot), and watching my daughter learn to walk in the grass as she chases the dogs we don't have yet. All this while dinner's on the stove in a cast iron dutch oven, I'm wearing one of my home made farmhouse dresses from a vintage pattern, and just finished planning my next outdoor workshop on expressive arts. I can see it.  I can smell it.  I can hear it.  I can taste it.  If I close my eyes I can even feel the air on my skin.  Yes my friends, my heart is swollen with Barnheart.  But let me tell you, if Jenna Woginrich can do it, so can I!  (And you too!) It's not a matter of if, but when. 

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