lessons from elders

In this season of life I feel, more than ever, the need to be guided by elders.

I was driving home from the shopping centre a few weeks ago when I caught David Suzuki on the radio (discussing many things as well as his most recent book). Percy was sound asleep and once I pulled into the driveway I sat and listened for as long as I could. David’s thoughts on climate change were terrifying and confronting; his frank delivery of shocking statistics left me feeling perturbed. Birds are falling out of the sky because of the high CO2 levels, fish are jumping out of the water because it’s too hot, we are well past the climate change tipping point…this is very, very real. Percy woke before David finished speaking but thanks to the wonder that is instagram I put a call out and Babs from Patchwork Cactus filled me in on the rest of his thoughts which went a little something like: “…the elders in our community should get off the golf course and share what they have learned with the upcoming generations. At their age they are finally at the stage when there is only honesty – there’s no pressure to make money, represent a company or gain power. And ultimately, that makes it a very special time for the truth.”

Honesty, lessons learned, life truths. I think we all need to sit and listen for a while, don’t you think?

I’ve always been a bit of an old soul; happy to drink tea and potter at home in lieu of getting out and about. But then again, when it’s time to make adult decisions about homeownership, when you start thinking about superannuation and retirement and making plans for the ten, twenty, thirty-year future, I can’t help but feel a little perplexed.

This past weekend, with its glorious stretch of four days, presented the perfect opportunity to delve into my new book. Percy was napping and there was fresh linen on the bed so in a rare moment of quiet and solitude I openedย The Simple Home – a month-by-month guide to self-reliance, productivity and contentment. Written by Rhonda Hetzel, the delightful blogger from Down to Earth, it’s a considered and thoughtfully written guide to simple living. There’s no fanfare here; just a one-on-one conversation with the very thoughtful, caring and wise, Rhonda. While I’m only a few chapters (or months) in, I’ve enjoyed her realistic yet happy approach to all things practical and necessary in living intentionally and with greater awareness of our impact on the earth. I feel like it’s the kind of book that will be dogeared and tea-stained in the coming years because my affinity with it is already so strong.

There’s a lot to be said for a book on living by some who has actually lived! Rhonda doesn’t profess to having a perfect life but she has come to realise what is important. She knows and lives contentment and her step-by-step guide to getting there is practical and inspiring.

A few things I’m doing this week to inspire, simplify, save and look forward:

– this nappy wipe tutorial went viral and for good reason. I’ve already got two ingredients but will pick up the containers and paper towels on my weekly shop.
– when Percy naps this afternoon I’m getting on the phone to sort out regular contributions to my super account (the joys of being a sole trader)
– it’s time to use up some pre-made freezer meals before we move…there’s a few soups, some pasta sauces and a lasagna…perfect for busy nights when dinner time creeps up too quickly.
nature is speaking, powerfully

What are you doing to simplify this week?

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Showing 12 comments
  • rhonda jean

    I appreciate your honest appraisal of my book. When you write alone in a room it's always difficult to know if you're really on the right track. So I've just written what I think I would like to know if I were younger again. By co-ncidence I was reading your blog on the weekend but didn't have the time to comment because my grandkids arrived. It's a beautiful blog, we need it and many more like it. You are also setting a fine example. xx

  • Meg Hopeful

    I have read David Suzuki's latest book and many of his other books are among my oft-returned to treasures. There is no denying his commitment to and passion for nature. I once had the privilege of hearing him speak and the thing that really stuck with me was his point that whatever we do to nature, we do to ourselves. We all need clean air, water and soil and so if we poison and pollute those things,we ourselves become worse off. It was, and still is, a sobering and yet very important message.

    I am still waiting for Rhonda's book to arrive in my mailbox. I can't wait to spend time lingering over her wise words too.

  • Patchwork Cactus

    Those words have also stuck with me, so much. xoxo

  • Katrina@capturingmoments

    I think the world is quite a scary place at the moment for many reasons and I am terrified for our children and the world that will be left for them. Climate change is so real and so many people unfortunately think there is little they can do or don't know what it is they should and can do. Lots of water droplets make a river flow – if only people remembered this and listened to the wise and made small changes that added to the bigger picture. xx

  • Cynthia

    What am I doing this week to simplify? It is spring here and we are putting a three inch layer of organic mulch in all our garden beds. It nourishes the plants and greatly reduces weed sprouting…which saves me back-breaking labor!

  • Aubrey

    Thank you for sharing, I just purchased both books and will start reading soon. This week, I am cleaning out the kid's toy bins. For some reason, they ended up getting far too many toys for Easter and the house is feeling a bit tight because of it.

  • The Stivender Family

    taking bathroom cleaning wipes off my grocery list and making homemade ones with rags. thanks for the motivation to do the earth friendly thing!

  • Jenna michelle Pink

    Thank you for this book recommendation. It sounds very interesting and one I wish to have a look at ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jenna michelle Pink

    Thank you for this book recommendation. It sounds very interesting and one I wish to have a look at ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Audrey

    Oh how wonderful you opened Rhonda's book! I have it and adore it ๐Ÿ™‚ Actually baked a gluten and dairy free version of the cookies in Down To Earth (her first book) this afternoon…ok, I took a portion of the cookie dough I made a few weeks ago out of the freezer and put it in the oven. Ta-da! Fresh cookies for afternoon tea and our guest ๐Ÿ™‚ I decluttered my wardrobe (well, passed on 5 items of no longer needed maternity clothing to said guest). Dinner was leftover zucchini slice, also from the freezer. Simple needed this week as life is full!

  • Stefanie Hels

    Hi Jodi, thank you so much for the book recommendation. Do you know if there is any possibility to purchase the paperback version outside of Australia? I have been looking around but only found the Kindle version. I would love to have the paperback version. It just feels so much more real to hold it in my hands.

  • Reply

    So excited about the baby wipe tutorial now that we have one on the way I will be looking for lots of eco friendly alternatives like this.

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