a few days ago a friend of mine remarked how unusual it is that i frequently cook “gourmet” meals considering i don’t have an oven/range. he called me a minimalist, which i consider quite a compliment. lol (that day i happened to be making a fresh cherries & honey-glazed ham with roasted herb & garlic red-skinned mashed potatoes and OF COURSE GRAVY!!) it’s amazing what you can do with a toaster oven & slow cooker and how awesome stuff you grow yourself tastes.

i love to coexist with the nature on “the farm.” even as i write this post there’s a groundhog not more than 20 feet away from me perched up on his hind legs holding an apple core in his little hands, munching away at it.

we see a lot of groundhogs and they have elaborate tunnel-homes built all around us. when we first moved here we joked about getting a gun to scare them off, cause that’s what you’re supposed to do right? “you can’t have groundhogs wandering around freely destroying stuff?!” lol that’s such a sad attitude.

groundhogs are adorable actually and i’ve never seen them destroy anything. they’re an important part of the ecosystem here and they provide homes for many other small animals that “lease” space in their tunnels. they are vegetarians and love to eat plants, flowers, roots and wild herbs. and even though we have many of them here they’ve never eaten our vegetables or herbs-they’re very respectful neighbors. if we throw something towards their dens, like that apple core the one was just eating, they will graciously accept it, but they won’t bother the plants we have growing by the house for our meals. isn’t that interesting?

groundhogs are one of those unique creatures that hibernate in the winter, like a death without dying or an alternate state of consciousness. in order to thrive and survive they are completely in-tune with powerful natural & metabolic processes. they balance all their resources in preparation for new awareness & awakening. they are very hospitable, masters of being in the ebb & flow of nature and coexisting with others that are different from them. they are keenly aware of boundaries and adept at creating their own.

even a toaster oven & slow cooker would be considered luxuries in many places. the possessions we have and seek are quite relative to the places we’re from, the cultures in which we exist, and what we are willing to work for, what’s important to us.

is any certain lifestyle, from asceticism to luxury, inherently right or wrong? probably not. but is your particular lifestyle the one YOU chose because it makes YOU feel peaceful, happy & fulfilled?

it doesn’t really matter what other people think you need – find that out within yourself and then insist on it.

[and please try not to run over the little furry groundhogs. they’re just people too.]

“never let your fear decide your fate…”

by JTW
©2012 JTW “jtwhitaker.com” All rights reserved.