Ecotone 2015

Page 16

economies/ economease troubling life in a tiny house

by april anson

Every day I spend in the small spaces of my tiny home, I confront the costs of my impatience. Because the building was so rushed, I didn’t spend time envisioning the tiny house as living space. From closet doors that open the wrong way to not having a corner to toss my stiff or tired self down when I walk in the door, I am paying the costs of many rushed decisions. This is forcing me to adjust some habits, which I knew would inevitably be the case living in this tiny space. But I have realized my impatience is a luxury. I didn’t have to take into account these costs because I am unaccustomed to recognizing the price of process. My mother was recently speaking about her garden – she planted a lot the year before, tended and pruned, but nothing really grew. She was frustrated. This last year, thinking that the lot may just be too stubborn, she left it fallow. But, for the last two weeks of October gorgeous strawberries sprang up from the untilled soil; red bursts of fruit still creeping outward as the cold began to creep in. Without water. Without her hand. But possibly because it had time (and compost). Her reflections on her garden reminded me of my tiny house. We both “built” them thinking that was all we had to do, thinking they would then offer us produce: in the case of the garden, literal produce and in the case of the tiny house, the freedom that simplicity of space would offer. Because that’s what they are supposed to do. But we both took the process for granted. You can’t just plant a garden and expect harvest. You can’t just build a tiny house and expect simplicity. We can’t expect these things without preparing for and confronting the costs. There are always pests. They invade a garden that doesn’t rely on nasty chemicals. They require tending. The tiny house, similarly, requires work. I am pestered by things I didn’t take time to consider. I long for more communal space. I long for


the ecotone / 2015