Working from the Woods

We’re starting to realize that this time in the woods is quickly drawing to a close. We’ve booked our tickets for the 19th, which leaves us with only a week and a half here in Nova Scotia. Obviously we’re feeling torn about the timing. We will both miss the woods and would love to stay longer, but we are looking forward to coming home and spending time with our friends again. 

We’re getting to the point where we can start to sum up our summer. We’ve been here long enough to get a good grasp on what it’s actually like to live out here. I’ve noticed a few things about doing leatherwork in this setting. Some things have been really good, while other aspects of being here have been difficult. 

Probably one of the best things about working out here has been the abundance of time and space. We don’t spend hours a day getting to and from work. Everything we need for the week is here and we are alone without distractions (for the most part). However, sometimes having an abundance of time - just like having less time - calls for it to be managed and used wisely, which we are still learning. And we can still get easily distracted even in this quiet environment. 

Overall, it’s been good to have some new perspective on our products. Being out in the woods and seeing what we make is refreshing. We get to see our products in a natural environment, which we had originally envisioned them for. 

While the woods have been beneficial in a lot of ways, we’ve also learned about the blessings we have by living in the city or at least on the grid. For one, internet. It’s very difficult to run a predominantly-online business from the woods. Having constant access to email and social media is something that we had taken for granted and underestimated its value. A second thing is people. We’ve loved the solitude that we’ve been given, but the truth is that I love people. I love big crowds and people-watching is one of my favorite hobbies. So the lack of large groups has been missed (though Tracy would say otherwise). 

Weather has been a big deterrent of work for us. When you’re cooking on fire and working outside because there is very few good options for strong light indoors (without power), you realize what a difference having good weather makes.  When wood is wet, cooking can take forever. And being so exposed to the elements can really slow you down in the head. 

But the biggest thing I’ve missed since moving out into the woods is a solid and consistent work space. It’s tough having tools and tables that need to be moved for every meal and visitor and work day. I like to keep a somewhat “lived in” workspace, and having a space that is so transient makes that a little more difficult. 

The tradeoff of convenience, technology and people to living directly in-and-with nature is one that we’ve treasured and would love to take into the rest of our lives. It has certainly replenished us and we hope this type of environment will continue to be a necessity for our sanity in the busy and complicated world we live in. We’re just trying to figure out what that would look like, especially as we continue to work with Peartree. 

So while living out here has been exactly what we needed at this point in time, and we have found that living out here does come quite naturally to us, it does have its difficulties and lessons to be learned. Without a doubt we will miss the sounds and smells, the pleasure we experience in each of our daily tasks, and our time of adventure. However, Hamilton is calling us once again!