"Living in a self-sufficient house may seem like it has limitations to some who insist on having an unlimited supply of power and water at their disposal at every moment.
But to me, it’s a gift to live with an awareness of the resources we consume and to link our lifestyle to the rhythms of nature. There is a powerful sense of confidence resulting from sailing our own ship free from rising gas, electricity, water, and waste removal expenses.
Relishing cloudy days as a great excuse to postpone the laundry, I can choose to read a book.
Cherishing evenings without a movie blaring from the television, we enjoy the peace permeating the house while we read books or quietly work on homework.
I bask in the glory of a wet spring storm as the rain fills the cisterns with fresh water free from chemicals and additives.
Emptying a bucket from the waterless toilet into the outside composting bin is a ritual of giving back nutrients to the Earth rather than polluting, or at the very least, taxing an already overused waste disposal system.
I no longer have to stress over paying a mortgage or a plethora of utility bills. This alone brings our family a foundation of security and peace of mind.
Building a small home with the cash from the sale of our previous house provided the freedom to work less and to treasure spending time with my children during the few precious years they lived at home.
No longer needing to rush from the house, coffee in hand, for a hectic commute to a soul-com- promising job, I have the freedom to choose heart-fulfilling work.
The day can begin in quiet reflection, looking out bright, sunny windows as the wonders of each season unfold before me.
On warm mornings, I am free to seek inspiration seated amongst the outdoor gardens, surrounded by wild, native plants, critters, and a vast open sky.
The adventure of designing and building Twisted Oak (our self-sustaining home) continues to be an honored gift. Many resources needed to come together at the right time for the magic to happen, but I also know Twisted Oak would not exist if I hadn’t said yes to the yearning in my heart leading me here.
I would be a different person, and my sons would lack the amazing benefits of being among the rare few who have helped build their home and understand how it functions.
If we had not accepted this challenge, then we would be just another family with an overworked and overstressed parent living in a home that is one more burden on an overused and abused planet.
The benefits far outweigh the limitations when we strive to create households and lifestyles that nurture our families and communities and that give back to the Earth rather than take from Her.”