Things have been busy here; it’s Spring after all. I was lucky to have another pair of hands around the place last week due to The Bean Counter’s habit, set when the two of us became three all those years ago, of taking the week of each Homesteader’s birthday off his off Homestead gig (you know, the one that makes all this possible) and so we managed to get a few bigger projects ticked off the list as well as celebrating another journey around the sun for The Farmer.

It was while we were tackling the primary project that talk turned to the practices of mindfulness, meditation and self care, brought about by the structure we were fashioning for the goats. In truth, the subject matter actually grew from the fact that all was not going well with our project prompting one of us to ask, “Why are we doing this anyway?” After a bit of hearty debate, we came to the conclusion that what we were building was something not totally necessary but definitely beneficial to the general sense of well-being in the paddock: a place to physically provide shelter and a bit of (buzzword) enrichment, but also somewhere to cosy up with the herd or spend a little alone time chewing your cud. In short, we were developing The Goatopia Retreat.

Because isn’t that really what it’s all about; the thing that keeps us happy and healthy and whole? Taking the time to sit and chew the fat with those you feel safe with or just retiring for a while to sit quietly on your own, chewing your cud. The Dutch have an awesome word, gezellig, which has no real direct translation; kind of conviviality, a touch of cosy and safe, sociable and friendly. Here on the Homestead we pride ourselves on our cosy corners; places we can sit around together talking about everything and nothing, and also places we can quietly be alone with our thoughts. The kind of places that feed the soul.

The Farmer is a pretty unassuming guy. His way of caring for himself on his birthday was to spend it playing all-in computer games, a walk down at the river, and a meal out at a restaurant he remembered fondly from his childhood.

Undeniably gezellig!

12 thoughts on “Gezellig!

  1. Happy Birthday Farmer! I love the idea of having areas around the place for conviviality and other areas for alone time. Also, I’m booking a spot under that blossoming tree (cherry?) for coffee and conviviality someday. The project looks unusual but clearly appreciated by the goats – and that’s what counts.

  2. I’ll add my belated happy birthday wishes. I like the idea of providing enrichment for your goats. I wonder if Mrs Tootlepedal would appreciate some sort of similar structure for her in our garden.

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