First published 5 December 2021
I was wandering around the farm this morning, which tends to be part of my daily routine, in beautiful northern cool season temperatures with warm sunshine on my face and totally appreciating my surroundings. I have always lived in cities, so it has been a surprise for me to become so attached to the sights and activities on the farm. Taking daily photos of vegetables was never on my bucket list for retirement
I suspect there is a basic connection we all have with the earth, and the resulting produce, however well covered it is by layers of modern thinking and attitudes. I find there is something so grounding about the peacefulness of the farm, the beauty of vegetables in all their stages of growth and the quiet disciplined way Yuan and Lud go about their daily lives.
Many of us might have grand visions for retirement, the world cruise, the constant travel, the endless bucket list, and good luck with that if you have the budget and health. Although there is an aspect of me that would theoretically enjoy that wider range of circumstances, the reality is that we wake up, check our emails and social media and make a coffee, and that is equally so if located in a small Isaan village or a French château. The key is your attitude to the circumstances in which you find yourself, and I have to say that once past the initial wow factor of the château, I wouldn't swap it day to day for my life here in little Si Bun Rueang.
My daily posts about the farm, the growing and selling of the produce and the wonderful characters involved, reflect this simple, very ordinary life that I have fallen into. There are no breathtaking scenic statements, or major activities. Just the constant flow of a life well lived moment to moment. I hope that either you have found or will find this degree of uncomplicated contentment at some stage in your life, rather than chasing new situations and photographic moments. Sitting in the shade of a little less to do, is a goal well worth striving for in my opinion, and it certainly works well for me.
A couple of comments I enjoyed as a result of my publishing this post on Facebook:
I've been busy selling everything in my UK house in preparation for moving to my little house near Phibun. Getting off the train on Saturday in dark, wet & windy Nottingham I had a moment of clarity....This is not for me! Hopefully around the 10th of January I'll be giving my old banger to my brother as part ex for a lift to the train station to start my new, unencumbered, life on a very small farm where, like the last 2 weeks, I've woken up when my body had enough sleep and a cup of coffee in the warm sun is a wonderful way to start the day. Fingers crossed I can find the same contentment as you, Tony
Chris Turner Best move you'll ever make my friend - good luck with the transition. Thailand (and especially Issan) is an amazing place, and I count my blessings daily that I had the good fortune to end up here.
Like you Tony, I have lived and worked in big cities all of my life. I think most people in the same position in the UK, dream of retirement to a quiet place in the country to enjoy a peaceful retirement. Your situation is no different to this in that you have that complete contrast from how you lived before. You now have the time to really look at you surroundings, both the people and the environment. Looking at the small things, especially through the lens of the camera, makes you appreciate everything. I cannot wait to swap the ever-increasing pace of the working life, for the peace of retirement.
Thanks for reading.