I suppose it is because I have a life like a zoo – where all the animals have escaped their cages and are rooming around getting into mischief – Noah’s ark maybe – that I have found myself drawn to simplicity. I like life in the wild. I enjoy the homeschooling, big family, two cats, two dogs and a baby on the way thing. But it takes a sturdy frame (fence, ark) to hold all this in place. That is one reason I am Catholic and the main reason I keep coming back to the “less stuff” ideal. Less stuff, more time, more family, more love, more prayer, more faith – that is a solid frame. And it is a survival mechanism.
For a large family thrift, simplicity, frugality, ritual and routine are absolute musts – at least if you want to have a shred of sanity at the end of the day. At least in my case, and I really don’t think I am special enough to be some great exception in this. But it took me a while to realize this as principal and even longer to figure out that there is this whole political/social movement called Voluntary Simplicity, of course that the Catholic, big family thing means I will always be relegated to a plundering outsider – it is too “Gaia-centric” – large families don’t fit the mold and humanity is often (not always, but often) viewed as a parasite on the beautiful, perfect, natural world. So ‘a pirating I go: I ready through the simplicity books and websites and grab out what works and pass over the things that I find won’t work for us and basically cobble together some vision of what I would like life to be and then struggle to implement it.