Simple Is Super-Powerful

Simple Is Super-Powerful

Daily routine can be a comfort and joy

Making Ripples

We all have hidden daily superpowers to make a difference with our mornings, afternoons, evenings and nights. That mundane ticking of time and our habitual behaviors can be secret allies. Not that it’s easy to wield daily life as a weapon against the world’s woes! But where choices grow, so do opportunities. Whether it’s beneficial to your health or the well-being of others, or benefits the environment, choices that reduce harm and increase love are powerful — especially when that choice affects every day.

Some of you heroines and heroes are out there changing cloth diapers day in and day out, or figuring out how to make your own vegan burritos to freeze for lunches. We all swim in different circumstances, but lately my circumstances have been so delightful that I was itching to share “a day in the life” with you this week.

The morning was cold when we awoke in the bed loft (around 59 degrees). Rather than turn on the backup propane heat, I noted the sunny day ahead, threw on a sweatshirt and threw open the blinds. With a cup of tea in hand, I warmed myself in the sunlight and devoured a mini loaf of pumpkin bread baked with solar electricity.

Chores are still yucky sometimes, but if something is going to be unpleasant, it may as well make the world better. The day’s chores included cleaning the bug guts out of the cistern outlet cover and the leaf eater that protects the rainwater supply. Those accomplished, I scrubbed the litter box clean (we don’t use plastic litter bags in order to reduce waste) and left it to dry in the sun.

Weeding the greywater garden is one of those instant gratification tasks, and it’s fun to check on the native plants that are thriving there. Lunch was a burrito heated in the solar oven outdoors, which makes the outside crispy and the inside soft and hot. Armadillos have switched to daytime foraging because the nights are too cold for them now, and lunchtime entertainment is often watching them or the bucks that chase the does across the fields. Such an abundance of sunlight makes for great baking, and I made a small batch of biscuits while the electricity was available.

Among the joys of life in Amanda Bancroft’s rural world is the regular chance to see a great blue heron eating frogs at the pond. This image was captured in Central Arkansas.
(File Photo)

As a freelance writer and artist, there are always things to do on the computer and in my “studio” — our off-grid cabin provides a kitchen table office. There are invoices to be sent, sketches to redraw, greeting card inventory to count, orders to fulfill, and a steady stream of work emails about things as disconnected as SEO optimization and the National Register of Historic Places. (I wouldn’t mind spending more time disconnected from the computer, in fact. This week may have been stressful for some of us, so if you have a “daily superpower” to make some small difference, by all means, use it!)

Most days, the best thing I do is to take a hike around the farm. The great blue heron is still eating frogs at the pond. The chipmunks harvest nuts around the 1890s rock wall. The wind clears my mind, and the exercise is sorely needed. So, what’s your superpower?

Amanda Bancroft is a writer, artist, and naturalist living in an off-grid tiny house on Kessler Mountain. She and her husband Ryan blog about their adventures and offer tips to those wanting to make a difference at

Categories: Making Ripples