I was talking with the farrier the other day. She came to do Maybe-the-donkey's feet and while she worked we had a really great little chat. She excitedly shared that since she had been here the last time they had FINALLY moved to their dream property. They had been looking for years and had even had a tour of our farm before we bought it but the timing wasn't quite right. Of course it wasn't.... because it was supposed to ours :) She described her new place as 6 acres of peace and quiet. She said the house needed some work and wasn't a "perfect" house but she is so delighted to be there. Every morning she hears the birds singing and sees some birds she's never even seen before! The quiet after living in the city is deafening. She asks her husband almost daily: have I said how much I love it here??? No honey - NOT TODAY!
I could so relate...coming to live here was difficult for most of the rest of my family. In different degrees they struggled with the move. My DH had the hardest time being "so far" from town and "civilization". He went to town almost every day for the first year we lived here. Now sometimes a three or four days go by and we say: oh yeah we haven't left the farm for a few days. My kids had never known anything but the house in town and it held a lot of memories. There some sadness but my daughter now says the worst thing about moving was that we couldn't get the antique wardrobe out of the basement so it had to stay there. They have all happily adjusted and I used to bite my tongue so I didn't say I TOLD YOU SO! (cause I did tell them so!)
I left the house in town without a backwards glance. My Mom and I finished cleaning the house from top to bottom, locked up the doors and drove away. I was so glad to be done with it and I couldn't have been happier about going to the country! Every day here is such a blessing and to paraphrase of bumper sticker I once saw:
A bad day living on the farm is better than ANY day living in the city.
(that might be just a touch overly dramatic.)
If I had one thing that perhaps surprised me or caught me off guard it was just one area - friends. I've always been a little bit different - I home schooled, cooked healthy food from scratch whenever possible, didn't go-with-the flow when it came to parenting or decision-making, decided I was less interested in what people thought of me and more interested in what God thought of me and wanted me to do with my life. I took the "left turn in Albuquerque" and never came back. Some of my friends would smile politely and once in awhile even seemed to be interested! I just couldn't imagine that a move 15 minutes away would be the end of many of those friendships...but it was. The distance and the lifestyle change was just too much of a strain for some. I have less time and less interest so the responsibility lies with my choices as well. I just didn't see it coming.
That made me sad. It also had me searching my heart for why it happened. I finally realised that life is a series of seasons and THAT season was over and a new one was beginning.
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.2
A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.3
A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.5
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching
A time to keep and a time to throw away.7
That made it a little easier. I have an adventurers heart so a new thing is always exciting! But I am also a firmly-rooted lover of all things old and stable at the same time. I wanted to move HERE but I never want to move again. My elderly neighbour used to tell me that he was going to leave his home in a pine box - and he did - that is my declaration too - especially since he was very elderly!
I've mentioned before that it is difficult to "break in" to a new community. You're the "new people" for 20 years! As time goes by we're feeling more and more like we belong here but I am so grateful for my faithful friends and family - the ones that have stuck by our family through thick and thin, through disappointment and failure and through this crazy adventure in country living. Without them life would be empty and lonely. As my roots grow deep here at Shalom Engedi Farm I know that the future holds wonderful treasures of new friends, new promises and new adventures.
Perhaps if you have dreams of moving and change in your life you will need to cross this bridge too - I'm just here to light the path... and I'm so glad you're along for the ride!