Steve and I decided to move to the country for many reasons: increased time together, a new adventure, a passion for wholesome food, and an altered life pace. What we didn’t anticipate was the ripple effect farming would cause. We did not realize that the whole family would be transformed.
Last weekend we were fortunate to have three of our five children, one daughter-in-law and two grandchildren in town. As we waited near the security exit at the airport we could hear our two-year-old grandson before we could see him. He was literally running down the hallway yelling “farmer, farmer” at the top of his lungs. Security gave him the once over and decided he was probably safe. I think the teddy bear PJ’s he was wearing saved him from interrogation.
Our grandson wasn’t just in town to visit his grandparents; he was there to experience farming. Without planning on it, Happy Earth Farm has turned into a family oasis for our children and a chance for them to leave their hectic, young professional world behind. Everyone shows up with crappy clothes, shit shoes and a bathing suit. Not one of them desires a dinner out or a shopping excursion; they want to remain here, in their crap clothes and shit shoes doing chores. Tractors are fired up and it is game on. And when everything is complete, it is pool time. The cycle gets repeated everyday that they are here.
It really hit me on Saturday night. I was inside checking on some dinner details and I happened to look out the window onto the deck and pool. Because the windows were closed, I couldn’t hear anything so I was forced to take it all in with only my eyes. I watched my grandson take off in his bright yellow boots in an awkward gait towards the barn and tractor, his father, Brien, close behind. My grandson looked so happy as he turned to yell something. Brien threw his head back as he laughed. Our other son Patrick was assisting in the dinner grilling while in, what appeared to be, an animated discussion with Steve. Our daughter and daughter-in-law sat by the pool playing with our youngest granddaughter. They were huddled up giggling so I imagined they were talking about their men.
I was frozen in the moment. It struck me that what started out as a dream of mine and Steve’s morphed into a place of family memories. The abundance of love and joy I was witnessing filled me so completely that I couldn’t help it; I started to cry. I stood there, soaking in all the silent beauty of smiling faces, animated hands and awkward gaits. One by one I called them in to stand with me to witness the quiet, but powerful scene because when it comes down to it, in life, isn’t that all that really matters?