Here I am, 35 years old, longing to get out of a city that feels like it is pressing in on me from all sides all the time. I can’t even get a decent shot of the moon because of all of the light pollution; there’s a streetlamp in my front yard.
Cities are great; large cities offer experiences, medical specialists, etc. that smaller towns and more rural areas simply can’t. Nightlife, if that’s your thing? Cities have your back. Moving away from a huge city means a narrowing of opportunities in a lot of ways. There is always a cost.
But my soul doesn’t sing as loudly here as it did when I lived where there were more pigs than people, more trees than highways, more tractors than Minis. I need green, open spaces ringed by thick forests. I need untamed, laughing creeks tumbling over rocks nobody has ever altered. I need the real darkness in all seasons, falling like a welcome blanket over the quiet night.
The city never sleeps, and I don’t sleep well.
It hasn’t been all that long, though, that I’ve been willing to admit the conclusion waiting at the end of a dirt road somewhere in my kudzu-choked brain:
I want a farm.
Not a huge one, not a business (though I’m not opposed, depending on where life takes us someday). Just a few acres of green that are mine, with the lives I invite to share it.
Chickens. (Hens.) Fresh eggs (and the experience of baby chicks too!) to nourish my own brood. A coop I made with my own hands from upcycled materials, decorated all cute on the outside.
A heated barn with space for guinea pigs — at least three stalls wide for them, with a partition that can be drawn across part of their space to herd the piggies to one side or the other for easy cleanup. No bars or cages for these piggies — rescues, one and all, with all of the veggies and hay and fresh water they’ll ever need. Extra stalls for other animals.
Those veggies? Maybe I’ll grow most of them myself. I’d especially like to grow cucumbers.
Oh, and our own pumpkins for jack-o’-lanterns and pie in the fall, while we’re at it…and strawberries for these little people who can’t get enough…watermelon for summer shenanigans…tomatoes for sauces and salads…and my heart whispers,, “Apple trees too, at the back of the property.”
Goats and a cow, for milk — to go into my handmade soaps and into my husband’s forays into cheese-making.
Various strays, no doubt, dogs and cats and who knows what else, will come to stay with us over the years. It is the way of things, and I will always permit those in need to avail themselves of what I have. I could even see taking in a rescued horse or two, once everything is up and running and we have our feet under us again, if we have the acreage to spare.
The farm is not just for me and my aching heart, though my writer senses tell me it is where I will thrive (and write, and take photos — maybe my farm needs its own YouTube channel! Who knows?).
It is for my husband and the hobbies (like cheese-making) he can’t indulge in here. It would also be dark enough on the land for his budding astronomy skills to take flight. We have to drive far from the house to find a place where the light pollution isn’t a hindrance here.
It is for my children, to gift them a home base rooted firmly in nature’s goodness. Instead of the concrete jungle of suburbia, where clover is an evil that must be mowed into submission, we can dedicate some of our land to wildflowers and all that will grow. The children, too, can grow a bit wilder, running free through clover and dandelion patches until they collapse, exhausted and laughing, and make their way back to the house for supper. They can eat the literal fruits of their labors and grow ever-stronger and more connected to the land.
This is the future I want for all of us. My heart is willing and my hands are strong. The house and the land are out there. We just have to find one another when the moment is right.
I even have a name for our farm. (Not telling…yet.)
I am ready. (Our finances and his job situation…aren’t. But…soon. The weight of the city is pushing my limits hardcore these days. It must be soon.)
I am so ready.