Today, I came across this article on how modern life is moving away from the root of all things: our food and where it comes from, and the type of work ethic required to provide sustenance to the whole world. Even though I have a horse farm, not one I harvest from, it spoke so deeply to me. Besides the fact that I do want to start producing more of my own food on my land in the years to come, the article was more about the type of person farm life creates. This is what today’s world is lacking, and one of the reasons I found it so important to live life out and away from suburbia for myself and my future children.
Let me begin by stating, as I have stated in blogs prior, I did not grow up on a farm like the article’s author did. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, and so did my husband. However, I always sought out experiences on the farm or out and away. When I started riding horses at 10, that was it for me. I spent every second I could at the barn. Week long summer camps doing nothing but wasting away in the hot sun mucking, grooming, feeding, tack cleaning, unloading hay and just simply learning all there was to learn about horse care was heaven for me. While other kids lived for the riding and showing, I lived for the time just spent in the barn. As I look back the most distinct memories I have of growing up riding horses was not the riding itself, but all the activities surrounding it.
I was definitely in the minority of the other little horse-riding girls around me, and still to this day I believe I am in the minority. Most people I grew up with excelled in their large suburban high schools, went to college, met like minded suburban raised spouses, got married, attained respectable suburban based jobs, and moved into their planned suburban communities. I am not saying there is anything exactly wrong with that, it just was never right for me. I never blossomed in public school and constantly wished to be home schooled. Going to a large university was always a struggle for me, and I felt like I truly played a part the entire time just to get through it. When W and I got married and bought our first house, it was a cute little bungalow in one of the most highly desired neighborhoods in Savannah, but I was never happy there and always craved being out and away. All the time I could spend out at the barn where I boarded my horse, I spent.
Moving out to the country, finally, was like moving home for the first time for me. This is the life I always wanted, and I can’t say I understand the other side of busy city life at all. I enjoy my days to myself and I relish the hard labor it takes to maintain our property. I am the type who gets no satisfaction out of a day of mental stress. Sitting in the AC all day in a cubicle was never for me. I prefer the back breaking shoveling, the sweat soaked mucking, dirt constantly under your fingernails type occupation. I end my days relaxed mentally, and to an anxiety prone being such as myself, that is everything.
What else about farm life appeals to me? I love that I know my neighbors, I love that my home is a sanctuary for my family. When you live way out like we do, the ones who make the trip to see us are the close friends who I truly want to spend all my time with. Leaving to go somewhere is a big deal, so I find there are less distractions, and that my husband and I are closer than we’ve been in years. I see that continuing as we expand our family, mostly because the people who I have met who grew up in rural farm communities have family bonds I have always envied. When there is nowhere else to go, your family is your social life. Your family is your closest group of best friends.
I love how life seems so simple, and people are so sweet and helpful. I wake up and I achieve that which life requires, and do all the things that help those around me thrive. I feel removed from the world’s pressures, stresses, and judgments. Isn’t that wonderful?
I even love how some days, farm life is tough and heartbreaking. Structures fall apart, nature wrecks havoc, equipment breaks down. When you care for animals and they are your whole world, it tears you apart when things go wrong – they get hurt, lose a pregnancy, or are lost themselves. But when this is your every day life, you see the silver linings and you appreciate the good, easy, healthy moments that much more.
I guess what I am saying is that in my opinion, there is no better life than farm life. There is a heart and soul and satisfaction to this daily grind that I love dearly with every fiber of my being, and I am blessed to have a husband who was willing to give this life to me even though it was foreign to him – although I don’t think he has a calling to it as much as I do, I can’t say he dislikes it either. It is pretty nice out here.