Acorns are dropping like hard little rain drops out here. They hit the metal roof and roll to the ground in droves. Somehow it makes me feel thankful. I’m not sure why I’ve related acorns to gratitude but I have…maybe because they’re so plentiful. And I can break them open to see the hearty fruit inside that makes an oak tree. An oak tree! How cool is that?
So this begs the question…what am I thankful for? After all, this is the time of year to consider such thoughts…it’s the traditional final harvest. I look over the past season and I see that it’s been difficult for sure. The transition of moving to the farm and trying to make a business out of it has proven more than just a little trying. But I’m here and I’m here to stay, no matter what difficulties I face. For that I’m thankful.
I think back to a number of years ago when the thought of having a farm to call home was such a fantastical dream. I was actually embarrassed to share it with people lest they tell me what a crazy idea it, in fact, was. Honestly, what did I know about farming? And how the hell would I make it work? And what did I know about farming?!!
Perhaps that was an indication I should have run the other direction to find a dream just a little more suited to what I knew. I knew how to do a myriad of things. I knew how to work for nonprofits, and manage business matters, and present concerts, and do marketing, and raise money, and work with artists and musicians. I did it all pretty well and could have made a nice career out of it…but I also never really enjoyed it. My mind constantly drifted, I always wished I was outside, I got lost in blogs and books about the farm life, and my heart was yanked by all matters Earth.
Initially, it started with a backyard garden. You should have seen the amount of surprise and childlike giddiness every time Kelly and I actually harvested something. Like we had just given birth to some little baby veggie. We would photograph it, tell people about it (Hey mom! We harvested ten carrots today!!!). It started there and, for both of us, grew into an all-consuming thought…what if we did this as part of our life? Like really did it? We dove into books about everything from growing tomatoes to off-the-grid living to existential essays on nature, reverent and powerful. It began to creep into those quiet and dreamy conversations all life partners share about where and how they want to grow old together. There, in the dawning hours of a newfound dream and joy, a desire was cemented in our lives. It took only five years before we sold our house and moved to the farm. Time flies when you put your heart to something.
So as I sit here and think about my “final harvests,” this transition from dream to reality is what comes to mind. We didn’t grow much this year as far as veggies go, honestly the bugs ate more than we were able to sell but there’s a whole lot more to this story than sales. I’m thankful. And I’m tired. Transitioning a whole way of life, selling a beloved home in the city to move to the country, giving up a career that I’m good at for one that I’m a total novice at is…well, it’s just a lot. There’s debt incurred and roller coaster emotions experienced. There’s the realization that nature really is reverent and powerful…that’s why they write essays about it. There’s the thought of “what do I know about farming and how the hell will I make this work?” But, in the end, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I signed on for this – and I believe it’s well worth the trouble. Like I said, I’m here and I’m here to stay. And for that I’m thankful.
Since we moved out here and started this big adventure, we’ve been amazed and intensely heart-warmed by the support we’ve received from our friends and family, and quite often, even from strangers. It seems that people are cheering us on! We’ve received donations for our building projects, helping hands in the field, marketing assistance, good advice and a whole lot of emotional support and encouragement. For this, I am SUPER thankful. Life really is good when you’ve got awesome friends, family and community.