From Isolation to Belonging

It’s become easy to isolate yourself with the ever present cell phones, facebook and many of us living miles away from our families. We tend to go about our business; work and keeping up with our own chores, forgetting about our deep need for connection.

When this need to belong to a greater community than just ourselves became overwhelming, we found the 18th Street Farmer’s Market.

Below is an excerpt from Julia’s new book, “The Long Road to Market”, the story of how the women of Five Feline Farm moved from isolation to belonging.

The seclusion of country life can be a curse as well as a blessing. We moved into the new home at the beginnning of September, headed into the fall and then winter in a new place. The nearest neighbor is over a quarter mile away and someone we have never met. We are nine miles from town. It is not a great distance yet a long trek in the dark days of winter with snow piling up. We found our self-sufficiency skills would be tested in ways we were not expecting.

Slowly neighbors started dropping over to introduce themselves. They were surely curious about these two women who built such an enormous house. We struggled to remember who was who and how they all fit together. Many had been living in the area for a long time, some for all their lives. We were the new kids and didn’t have relatives or connections here. Until we could figure out who to trust in the new neighborhood, we retreated into our own world, working feverishly to reclaim the land from years of neglect.

So, for the most part, we were on our own with some help from our families. All of our spare time was consumed with various projects around the farm to make our dream a reality. It was a relief to be away from the loudness of 20,000 people vying for their place in the world all at the same time. When we could, we planned our shopping to get as much as possible in one trip, making it commonplace to pick up necessities before or after work.

It was glorious to be removed from town life, yet after a period of time lonely. We yearned for connection and belonging to a community.

The Long Road to Market is available in both print and digital formats by clicking here.