Over the holidays I re-read Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart, which I discovered over twenty years ago. It is really marvelous. Here she sums up what I believe to be the very true essence of a woman’s happiness:
“When you think of me you must think of me as one who is truly happy. It is true, I want a great many things I haven’t got, but I don’t want them enough to be discontented and not enjoy the many blessings that are mine. I have my home among the blue mountains, my healthy, well-formed children, my clean, honest husband, my kind gentle milk cows, my garden which I make myself. There are lots of chickens, turkeys and pigs which are my own special care. I have some slow old gentle horses and an old wagon. I can load up the kiddies and go where I please any time. I have the best, kindest neighbors and I have my dear absent friends. Do you wonder I am so happy? When I think of it all, I wonder how I can crowd all my joy into one short life.”
Times have not changed that much if you substitute a station wagon/mini van for the horse and wagon. And don’t kid yourself that she didn’t have a “job”. She worked harder than I ever have at my cushy flyover university. At the center of her happiness is love and the freedom to do what she wants.
I highly recommend this book as a good way to start the new year off on a positive note. It is available here.