Soon it will be 2 years since I moved into my new Tiny House. Actually, it’s still a construction site, because I don’t have a bathroom, and the planned addition is only now really getting started. Nevertheless, I’m finally taking the time to do some initial reflection.
My first Tiny House was a construction container that I had upgraded inside by myself. That was about 9 years ago. Back then, too, I moved in during the winter – but a bit later in the year. There was no wood stove, only an electric space heater, virtually no insulation or mass, no running water, and limited electricity. Plus, I was trapped in what felt like a dark wet hole. Pleasant in the summer, but quite uncomfortable in the winter.
And now? My current home is about twice the size (~22m2 instead of 14), made of wood and straw, It sits on a slope facing south, with a large glass front and a great view and sunlight. Inside is a wonderful wood stove, I have connection to running water and enough electricity. In addition, I am richly endowed by the fruit trees of the neighboring garden.
What I have noticed as the biggest difference in these first two years has been insulation, mass, sunlight and generally heat sources. It makes such a big difference to my inner well-being whether I use a constantly rattling electric heater that gives off a lot of heat very quickly, but at the same time still barely heats the room, or whether there’s a wood stove crackling away. Yes, when lighting it, it still happens a lot that the whole house is smoked. And I always have to be present and in touch with the fire so I don’t forget to feed it.
But, strictly speaking, these are not disadvantages but advantages for me. The south-facing glass front also allows me to heat much less than most people anyway. In the summer, it was a challenge not to stew in the sauna, but I learned a lot in the process, too, and so I’ve gathered some ideas about what I want to consider when I build the addition.
Unexpected moments of happiness
Since the construction and use was actually planned a bit differently, I had the opportunity to move into my new home with virtually no expectations. As a result, I was once again more open to recognizing all the gifts that have since happened to me. I was allowed to watch field hares, woodpeckers, storks, great tits and many other wild visitors up close on my natural wide-screen TV.
I was allowed to invite and welcome so many dear people. For the first time in my life I was able to really feel that I had a home where I can be 100% who I am. Where I am allowed to live out all my wild sides. Where I was reminded daily that even though I am still separated from nature by the walls, I am getting closer and closer to it.
And that through this stable home I can now venture one step further into the wilderness without worry, knowing that I can return to a safe home. Even though I know for a fact that “out there” my true home is waiting for me, I know that I can come back to my comfort zone here in case of emergency.
Challenges and trust
Our home is always a work in progress. Still, I didn’t imagine it would be so difficult to find a carpenter who would actually want to do such a relatively small special project. My confidence that everything would happen at the right time and exactly as it should, however, proved me right.
And now the addition may happen with exactly the same people who worked on the original house.
What the future will bring…
… remains to be seen. Every now and then, another piece of the puzzle is added. Even though my house isn’t even fully finished yet, the plumbing and other preparations for the second and third houses have already been partially implemented. Slowly and steadily the property is allowed to change and become a place of Being.
A place where not only I, but also other Tiny House people as well as Nature can be and live. Where not only my Tiny House, but the whole property becomes a place where people are accepted as they are. Where everything is allowed to be there. Where we find back to ourselves, to our essence. In and with the nature that surrounds us.
To sum it all up
This wonderful little house – while a bit larger than many Tiny Houses – has opened up a whole new life for me. Different levels of comfort are needed for each person at each time in life. And I am grateful for my time in the container.
But this past year has shown me just how much I can live in the utmost luxury. Yes, I will continue to challenge my comfort zone, and try out how much less I can be happy and content with.
But, I now know that anything beyond my current home will not make me happier, possibly even less happy. And, that it is at least as important what environment that home is in, and what relationship I build with both the home and the environment.