Dear barn stalls, open pastures, and toe-stubbing fence-posts,
I have known you for ten years now, can you believe it? When I, a tender young girl of fourteen, first roamed your wild pastures I was stricken with the sudden desire to run for the hills, and leave your mucky embrace far behind. But alas, my escape was thwarted by your gently rolling white fences, and horned guards at every exit.
I wandered your hidden corners for years, strained to move animals four times my size with earnest effort, and shared quiet moments of contemplation with roosters in the light of the setting sun. Dear farm, how could you let me fall in love like this? It just isn’t fair.
My dearest and most beloved farm, we share a strange relationship. You, full of love and tinged with faint touches of sorrow, and a quiet peace at the end of a long road that claims all of your strength. But me, I touch every now and again on our little affair of the heart. I steal moments in that peace after hard days, reveling in the joys and helping to bear your sad burdens.
My farm, I find it hard to describe to others why I love you. I can say things like “it shaped how I see hard work,” and “it feels nice to be so needed, and the work has such an impact,” but it doesn’t fully encompass what you are.
You are the sleepy mornings and cold feet trudging across a pasture. You are a warm face and a snug hat tilted against the sun. You are stepped-on toes and bruised legs from impatient goats. You are heavy arms and sore hands and hay-scratched skin. You are the pounding rain against barn walls, howling wind, and dry cozy spaces all breathing quietly in a storm. You are the chirp of new life wandering in shaded green places. You are abrupt laughter in the face of absurdity. You are backbreaking labor and painful goodbyes. You are the hopeful thrill of a new friend. My farm, you are the love of someone’s life.
My dear farm, the time will come when I drift away from you again, as I have done before. As far as I seem to go, I would dare to bet that I will return again. I cannot seem to stay away for long, as I am drawn back always by our strange affair of the heart.