I was planning to keep my final days at my farm a private matter, but so many friends and others, and I don’t necessarily mean friendly others, have weighed in on my life this past year, that I feel a sense of closure is reasonable. It’s reasonable to my heart, anyway.
I just went for the most beautiful hike. Our property is breath-taking, and so many memories came gently back with a touch of sadness. I thought of the hikes with my son, or that crazy Easter Egg hunt with all three of my kids, and the day I baptized my first grandchild in the creek.
Today’s hike was prompted by a little errand I had to run down to the pump-house. How apt that my last official maintenance at the farm was to purify the water. I took a gallon of bleach down to the spring to cleanse the lines. Stuck my toe in the spring water just to add a touch of holiness. Said a Trinitarian prayer and blessed it and everything, since I’m a “protestant priest.” As I hiked back up a very steep hill, I felt - I’m going to get poetic here - I was transfigured by the sunlight and scenery, and I paused and picked up a stone so I could take the moment with me. Goodbye farm, I love you.
People told me to let go when I needed to hold on a little longer. People told me to hold on when I was ready to let go. People said I never needed this place anyway. People said it was too much for me. They said I’d never be able to take the memories. People. I love us. Thank you, people, for reminding me that I am not alone, not as invisible as I’d imagined, and that I am perfectly capable of knowing what I need and what I can handle.
I never thought I’d dream this far, but it’s been the most tender farewell. I’m such a hippie; I'm so St. Francis. I’ve walked the property many times this year and thanked it. I blessed the house and asked it to please let me go.
I was sure I would be gone by now. Once I decide a thing, I am ready. But I’m glad for the long process. I had one more dogwood spring, one more hummingbird summer, one more snow, and several cords worth of fires in the fireplace.
So, my sweet invisible tribe, thank you for helping me through this last chapter and walking with me into the next. I don’t feel loss anymore...much anyway; but you’ll never hear me say “I’m glad this is behind me.” It’s my life, my story, and my history. I am grateful. I would not have chosen this ending, but it sure has set me up for a bright new beginning. It’s been 14 years of a lifetime. Dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, sledding accidents, bonfires, lightning strikes, tornados, trips to China that made me homesick, saving chickens from raccoons ...these are the reasons I don’t view this changing of seasons as a “thank God that’s over” kind of thing.
Thank God. For Everything. That’s kind of it.