While reflecting back on the past year, the thought “I’ve been domesticated” popped into my head. It made me uneasy because as a liberal, educated woman – I’ve been biased against the idea of domestication as it often implies being at the beck and call of another person. It’s the same reason I cringe when someone calls me a farmwife. I didn’t marry a farm, I married a man. You can call me a farmer’s wife if you are just as comfortable in calling Vance a farmer’s husband but back to the topic at hand.
Thinking more about the word ‘domestic’ I realized that there could be no word more suitable for 2012. As I’ve alluded to before, I spent a good part of my 20s and early 30s working abroad and moving regularly. While I enjoyed this time immensely, I often felt a yearning for something and some place where I could put down roots and stay awhile; a place I could belong. In the last year I have learned a deeper meaning of the feeling of being home. A place, a people, an ecosystem to which one says “I’m staying” and feels them whisper back to you “Me too.”
‘Domestic’ is defined as ‘of or relating to the family or household’.
Highlights of 2012 include adding dogs, geese, and pigs to the cats, chickens, ducks, and cows; sharing my fermentation experiments like sauerkraut, mead, and hot pepper sauce; purchasing our first home – a small cabin we’ve placed on the Tail Creek and will move into this spring.
All of these relate to our family and our household and thus, I have shaken off my discomfort with the word and happily proclaim that I’ve been domesticated… for now.
Happy New Year and Welcome 2013!
The following piece is part of a regular column in the local newspaper that Brenda writes, often inspired by our farm journey and adventures. It first appeared in The Chautauqua in 2013.