12 YEARS IN A TENTLiving Nature
From idyllic to challenging, our 12 years in a tent in a field has been a life intimate with nature.
Weather and wildlife.
Living in a yurt, the tiniest raincloud of only three drops of rain is heard. A storm means we cannot hear each other.
The wind is a force to be respected. We tighten the ropes and know exactly where it is coming from. Huge waves of wind can be heard approaching for ages before they hit the yurt with a whumph!
The wildlife continues as if we had never arrived.
Owl, buzzard, fox, deer, rabbit, badger, coypu, wild boar, every kind of rodent, nightingale, millions and millions of insects.
The yurt hums with insects making their homes. Our place within the scheme of things largely ignored.
As the air warms, it is electrified with insect sounds. The grasshoppers beat their binaural rythmn day and night. Frogs croak loudly in inspirational night air then suddenly stop.
One year we visited England, and came back to a Black Redstart nesting in the yurt with four babies.
She worked hard! From dawn to dusk she was in and out every three minutes with a new juicy morsel. We tried our best not to disturb her.
And the birdsong!
Resounding sounds of past, present and future, clear in my ear, communicating importantly together.
The nightingale comes to the same tree at the same time each year. For how many generations has this gone on?
Since there were wolves in the forest?
When there were no roads here, no tractors, no electricity, no aeroplanes overhead, no matches to easily light the fire.
I imagine the ancient people here, living in this rich, clement land.
Living in a tent on land that isn’t our own has been a life of uncertainty.
Trying to grasp some sense of security or permanence has not been possible on a material plane.
This uncertainty has simplied life. The only thing to do is the very next thing that needs doing. Small children help to ground us into what is necessary. The next meal usually.
The yurt has become a symbol that reminds me of the impermanence of life, however solid it could seem with bricks, mortar, mortage and rushhour.
I have come to embrace this constant reminder. The insects, birds and all of nature tells me of the recycling of life that is not an end or a beginning, but just a continuation. They teach that the only thing to do is to sing my heart out and to live enthusiastically as if this moment NOW, is the only one.
We were homeschooling, living in twelve meters squared. The children got bigger. The yurt had to get bigger.
I planned with graph paper and scaled shapes of beds, the minimum size we could live in and be comfortable.
Eight meters across, forty eight square meters.
All so easy on paper.
It all took a lot, lot longer and was a lot more difficult than we thought it would be. I think that is normal for people who build their own homes.
(I wonder if it is like that for the insects and the birds too? I see they work constantly. I have never seen a bee relaxing. But I have seen them drink nectar).
Sometimes I would cry and think I cannot physically do this.
The roof was sooo huge, soo heavy to sew and to move. Every stitch has to be just right, no tension pulling or pushing on it, in exactly the right place. Each seam a double seam.
My sturdy ninety year old treadle sewing machine with it’s calming rolling clicks taught me Zen and the Art of Sewing a Yurt Roof. It was only possible continue with a steady, slow, patient, persistence. Freaking out didn’t help at all.
We worked hard and long like the insects, except that we were racing to do it before the winter, not spring.
We abandoned the children (who learned to read and prepare food during that time) and managed to get the roof on by winter solstice. Torrential rain the next day.
Our Beautiful YurtA Temporary Home
Funnily enough, even with the bigger yurt the children continued to grow.
Time to build another!
Our son now has his own yurt, our daughter a caravan and before long they will fly the nest.
I enjoy them while I can!
Life goes by in such a flash although sometimes, it can seem as if it is forever!
I would love to hear from you about how you enjoy your life, your children, your environment…..
Please contact me with news of your tactics, attitudes or practices that help you to fully appreciate being alive.
I would LOVE to know!