Wide Earth Smallholding

Wide Earth Smallholding

And Allaah has made for you the earth a wide expanse.(Qur'aan- 71:19)

Taking Flight: Creative Parenting Part 8

Through all of our travels, all the paths we have tread, we have not only kept alive the desire to homestead, but have taken steps to make it a reality as much as our situation would allow, as those of you who read this and my Yemeni Journey blog are most likely aware. A few weeks ago we decided that we had to make some big changes, and look for a new place to live. At first, we focused on this area because we had formed some strong friendships and liked many things about Kansas City. The children and I talked, and, after I explained everything to them clearly, they hopped on board, eager for whatever changes would come.

One of this year's beds, early on
One of this year’s beds, early on

My personal list of wants in a house was pretty simple. I wanted space to grow our own vegetables and fruits and hopefully get a few chickens in order that we could continue to move forward in our journey towards some measure of self-sufficiency. My husband looked at several properties, and it became clear relatively quickly that finding this space in the city was going to be very difficult, if not impossible. We began to talk about the house we’d owned in Liberty, NY, before moving to Yemen. The house itself was a “fixer upper” with a small yard, but we were able to have a flourishing garden and make connections throughout the community that are difficult to make in a more urban setting. We began to turn over the idea of looking at other areas in Missouri and seeing if we could find something in a small town or, even better, a rural environment. One day, as we were on one of our almost daily walks, we made the decision to spread our wings and see if we could fly.

The next day, Khalil was looking for properties on the internet. Our hope was to rent to buy, since we can’t deal in interest, but, as always, we found that if we kept our eyes, and our options, open, trusting in Allaah, the most surprising (and wonderful!) things would happen.

Khalil, through one of the goat farming forums he follows, found out about two twenty acre parcels of land in southern Missouri. One was rent to own, while one was to rent only. Upon contacting the person who owned the land, he found out that the one that was rent to own was taken, but the other was still available. I still feel the joy I felt when I received his email with a link to a description of the property and the contact information for the landowner. It sounded and felt just perfect for us. Once I called and spoke to Alice, I knew it was the right move, and it sounded like she felt the same way. So many connections, so quickly, and the more we learned about both the land and our potential landlady, the more we loved it all.

Deer tracks going through the yard of our new house
Deer tracks going through the yard of our new house

That was two weeks ago. We have since signed the contract and are moving in the middle of January, insh’Allaah. To say we are excited would be such an extraordinary understatement that I won’t bother. While my husband works on the technical aspects of the move, the rest of us are looking at chicken and goat breeds and planning next year’s garden. As we begin sorting, organizing and packing, I find that my time to write has dwindled a bit, thus the scarcity of postings on the blogs in the last few weeks. I am looking forward, though, to sharing our journey with you, step by step, as we make this transition and see what Allaah has in store for us!

Today after breakfast the children and I bundled up and went for a walk in the snow, all of us a riot of red noses, bright scarves and mittens. Later, as we sat up in the attic sipping hot chocolate that dear friends had gifted us with, I realized that in this, too, creative parenting comes into play, not only in the relationships we foster with each of our children, but in the bigger picture as well. What started out as two people dreaming of living on the land with a continent between them grew to include an entire family sharing that dream working towards it, and being willing to step off a cliff, together, mittened hands joined, knowing that insh’Allaah we will be granted the gift of flight.

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