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What Anam Baile Means To Me

Anam Baile is Gaelic. Loosely translated it means Spirit Home. I started this blog to organize my brain. I have a very clear vision of what life should be for my family. It’s like a brilliant diamond  with so many facets the glare often blurs them from my vision. My intention is to see it written, to feel the accomplishment in photos and maybe even clear the glare for someone else.

First and foremost I want a spiritual existence for my Family. I don’t mean religion, I mean a connection to the Earth. I want my children to know life was taken for their cheeseburger and that fresh milk tastes like nothing that can be bought in a store. I want them to feel the dirt from their very own vegetable garden. I want them to appreciate the squawking of a hen, because that means fresh eggs will be on our table. I want them to feel the loss when a neighbor cuts down a 200 year old tree for better curb appeal. I want them to appreciate what the Earth has to offer and be grateful. Not an entitled taker. It’s not an easy choice to make. The hardest part is actually knowing the life that will someday be taken to feed my family. I think most people would prefer to have it neatly done somewhere else, by someone else. But there is no amount of money that can buy the knowledge that the animal in question was given a good life, good clean food and a quick end. More importantly it was given our deepest gratitude.

The work of raising clean food is toil. It’s dirty, it’s cold ache in the winter and hot stinkiness in the summer. And yet there are moments, beautiful, spirit moving moments. There was a time you could find me in the moonlight weeding our vegetables. I loved that. I stopped when kiddo number 2 came about, but I intend to get back in that dirt next spring. There is a love that develops when you milk a cow. When we first got Annabelle, she had not had the best of living conditions. So to calm her while milking, I sang to her. That is something that I will always remember. There was the time we stayed up all night dousing Annabelle with baking soda because she got in the grain bin. It’s commonly called grain overload and frequently a killer. She made it through and ah the joy of hearing that first belch. (it means her digestive was back to normal). We love her, we respect her and we need her. She is the most important animal in the world to our family. She’s feisty, fierce and gentle. These are the things I want for my family.

1998

On the surface I also want a beautiful home. Not something I bought at West Elm, but something I imagined into existence from something whose usefulness had ceased to exist. 

But in the end all I really want is a happy world for my family. A happy world to me includes abundant music, laughter, hugs, kisses, dancing, reading and beauty. Sometimes we get a day with all those things, sometimes it’s just hugs and kisses.

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2 thoughts on “What Anam Baile Means To Me

  1. I love your vision. I want the same thing for my family, whether it’s just my husband and I or also kids someday. I’m loving your posts about the practical things that still feel like overwhelming mysteries to me—how to keep a house, feed a family, and all the other things involved. It’s great to know I’m not the only one who feels daunted by those things, even though they are so important to me. As I read, you are becoming my mentor!

    • What an incredible compliment. One I don’t entirely feel comfortable with to be honest, but I suppose my discomfort is based on my complete ignorance of homemaking and my earnest attempt to get a handle on it. The balance of whimsy, letting go, carpe diem vs. routines, housework and chores is a mystery I haven’t quite solved. Stay tuned, it could happen. Thank you for the words of encouragement. I am glad to see that in my small way I have helped or at least offered hope that the practical side of life can be dealt with, without taking away from the enjoyment of it.

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