I Walk Where Others Won’t – My Journey Toward Appreciating the Old Ways

I walk where others won’t.

This is so true. I’ve always, even as a young child, disappeared deep into the woods where the mossy bog was the dominant terrain and gnarly branches of upturned tree roots protruded toward the sky. I loved watching the critters scurry and see the sunlight filter through the trees above sending light beams down upon my green velvet carpet. Most found these places dark and dirty. I found them alive and mysterious; full of possibility. And it was here which was the most likely place where the angelic and mystical creatures existed and were able to roam free due to the mere fact humans were likely too complacent to go to such places. A child’s mind is full of imagination and creativity.

As I look back on 2020 and look back even further to how I grew up, from the dream filled little girl I was, to the woman I have become, I am sure of my footing. It is a powerful statement to be sure, when I see so many who are not sure of their footing in these times.

Growing up my mom always lived very close to the land. She taught me the ways of animals and animal husbandry. I grew up with muck boots on and pitch fork in hand. Gloves were more implanted in my hand than today’s children holding cell phones.

I was raised in an ‘Old Ways’ way. The main farmhouse on our multi-generational farm is laden with antiques – spinning wheels, old fashioned coffee grinders, hand made tools, old wooden buckets, butter molds and mortar and pestles. But, in our house growing up they were all used and still are. The lanterns continue to be used just as much as our electricity driven light fixtures. We like the oil lanterns and candles better though. We all agree, they put us in a better state of mind. How many people even own a oil lamp now? Think about it.

Me collecting eggs in the morning, my mom milking the goats…us both coming back to the house where the milk would go in the hand cranked milk separator — me watching it turn around, around around. Us making our own butter and using the buttermilk for our own home made buttermilk goats soap….this was the norm and still is.

This life probably sounds enchanting like storybook. But, it was and still is my life.

I find it interesting that the boomers and people in the 40s and 50s don’t seem to get my way of life. But, ironically much of my generation Z does. There is a serious lack of understanding in what is happening here.

The old ways, to me at least, were the best ways: simple and utilitarian, made by hand and made with love. I love the craftsmanship of things made by hand. I appreciate the knowledge, time and commitment it took to make whatever object it is – whether simple or complex.

What boomers and 40s & 50 year olds don’t get is my generation doesn’t believe the corporate spin, doesn’t respect the buy, buy, buy…..climb the corporate ladder, make more money for the shareholders…when only the people at the top hold the shares.

We have simply gone in a different direction. We appreciate made by hand. In fact, we appreciate almost anything that WASN”T pushed through a corporate machine. And, we admire people who choose to take a different path and trust their creativity, originality and their desire to do good and add value.

My generation sees these things. It is the older generations who have so bought into ‘the system’ they reject those of us who don’t march like they have.

My generation actually probably relate best to our grandfathers and grandmothers – our great grandfathers and great grandmothers — the era of pre-1950s…when we all still did things by hand and did things as families and had multi-generational farms we were all part of.

I live on a multi-generational farm. I don’t feel like I have to leave the farm, get a white collar job and move to the city. The cities are burning right now. And, I live and love, a farm life. I also intend to continue this farm for the course of my life and also raise my own children on this farm. I work hard and have a duty here….but it is no burden, it is my parents legacy to me and my legacy to my children. This seems wild and fantastical to many. Part of my family ridicule me for wanting to start a company from the essence of what is my farm. They think it is failure that I don’t aspire to go climb the ladder and go into the city. I tell them, that is so 1980s thinking. My generation, almost NONE of them, think this way of which a certain family member of mine prescribes. In fact, that looks like hell to my generation because as we look at the older generations, NONE OF THEM seem happy. Ironically, one family member even told me, you won’t necessarily be happy and you may have to squash your dreams but you’ll feel proud of yourself for overcoming and ‘making it’ in this world…this orchestrated world that has failed everyone.

Frankly, no thank you.

I like the pre-1950s before industrial everything. I like my multi-generational farm. Not only do I like it, I love it and I am proud of it. And, it is a legacy I know deep in my heart builds deeply rooted kids – healthy ones. And, like me – that is how I want to raise my kids.

It teaches strong work ethic very early on as a young child versus living on technology like our kids are today. On a farm there is a great deal of things for children to do that helps the farm and the animals. These are good training skills for work and discipline, empathy and loss (animals die but new ones are born.)

It enables dreaming and creativity without limitation.

These are the things that inspire me. This is why ReWild Co. is my passion. It is my art. It is my soul.

So, as I hear people attempt to pull me into the institutionalized world that is failing, I throw my head back and laugh. I don’t do it out of spite…but out of joy…..because I know I have taken a road less travelled and I am proud of me and my choices because I know they are right for me. I have delved into the depths of me, and touched my soul……….and my spirit has spoken. I will NOT take the path of conditioning and conformity. I will walk barefoot, into the woods on my own road….less travelled. And I will be singing,…..it is well…with my soul…….all the while.

So, my statement to all is below in this picture. I trust that most of you who follow me understand what I am saying below very intrinsically in your own souls. I also trust there are many of you who say you know me, who are in my family, who have no idea what the below means – with an inability to relate it to me or yourselves.

But, that is okay. Each soul has their own journey. All any of the rest of us can do is encourage each other to have no fear, but faith, to get our own wings on … and fly.

Published by HiBar Ranch, Farm & Forest

We run an organic farm in the Smoky Mountains of East TN. Our ancestors who first settled this region and were some of the first settlers of TN in the mid 1700s. We blog about farm life, off the grid, self sustainability and fiber arts/craftsmanship and lots and lots on growing your own food and building a self sufficient farm.

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