We found our farm a year before we bought it. It was a dream for four seasons as we contemplated what a move like this would mean. We both grew up in large suburbs. We didn’t know country life. It was easy to dream up what it might be like, but I was keenly aware that dreams can be misleading. Would this be a decision that would be worth the risk and propel us forward to the life we always imagined? Or would this be the first step of our undoing? That’s a little dramatic, I realize, but the unknown is always more dramatic than the known.
I’ve always imagined living close to nature on a grander scale. The suburbs became stifling. As our dreams grew bigger, our lot grew smaller. Most of my dreams involved my boys ambling through the woods, climbing trees and making forts, digging their own gardens, building with their dad. These dreams have them running wild, out on adventures.
Earlier this year, on the first mild day of spring and in the middle of offers and counter offers and extreme anxiety about this decision that was upon us, the boys and I headed outside for a day spent outdoors. They ran up and down the grassy hill that curved up from our back patio, squealing and laughing. I inhaled the spring-flowered breeze and I felt that same crazy excitement fill my chest. I watched as they fell to the newly greened grass and rolled and rolled and finally lay still, face down into the sparse grass and dirt, little giggles occasionally popping up like bubbles. It’s as if they were hugging a friend from the past, someone remembered only through smell and touch. As I watched them love the Earth I felt conviction that moving closer to her was the right decision because while they were loving the Earth I was listening to the train rumbling and whirring right down the street, the neighbors endless blowing of his driveway, and the truckers and motorcycles on a highway just three minutes down the road. I wanted to hear the spring birds in their songs at this time of year; I wanted to the hear the soft scuttling of the aspen leaves as they moved in the breeze; and the slower hush of the high bows of the cottonwoods. I wanted that for my children.
And so we bought the farm and we named it Wild Mill and I am here now, late in the night, glancing out at the bright peach moon as it moves closer to an eclipse, flooding the chirping pastures with moonlight. I couldn't be happier than being right here, creating something new. I'm glad you've found me.