A Pastorale, Defined

pas·to·rale /ˌpastəˈräl/ noun

1. a slow instrumental composition in compound time, usually with drone notes in the bass.
2. a simple musical play with a rural subject.

(Oxford Dictionary)

Last summer as I began my journey as a stay at home mom and working this wanna-be homestead, I was trying to come up with a name for our farm. No, we’re not in this farming thing for profit, but still, every good endeavor needs a name. I went through countless ideas, but none seemed to fit just right.

I started my blog still without a name for our farm, but named the blog ‘A Pastorale.’ Being a music person, the definition struck me. Inspired by the book Goat Song by Brad Kessler, it was an idyllic name. “As Kessler begins to live the life of a herder, he encounters the pastoral roots of so many aspects of Western culture—how our diet, our alphabet, our religions, poetry, and economy all grew out of a pastoralist setting, a life lived among hoofed animals.” (Amazon) Our society, as far removed as it may seem sometimes, is an agricultural one. We can’t survive without farms, pastures.

“The pastoral poem… demanded the poet’s skill for conveying the atmosphere of a remote, fairy-tale world of nature, refined and civilized. Uncomplicated subject matter, bucolic landscape, and a nostalgic mood of yearning for an unattainable earthly paradise made pastoral poetry attractive to composers.” (A History of Western Music) Driving from the city, we had to pass by Café Risqué, then cross the River Styx before arriving at our new home. I always found it a bit ironic. Like passing through the gates of hell to get to our little piece of paradise. We had the property for two years before adding a house, so much time was spent enjoying the landscape, camping, and dreaming of days to come.

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When I confessed to the hubby that I started a blog, he liked the name, and assumed it was the new name for our farm. And so we have adopted it. Not on paper or signs or anything, but it is the new name for our farm. Our refuge. Our place to dream.

I hope to write about all the joys and challenges of life on a budding homestead. The Pastorale: where we try to live a simple life, getting back to our roots, surrounded by what I still view as this fairy-tale world of nature. Where plants, animals, and people can live harmoniously.

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