I walked this morning and enjoyed a beautiful eastern Colorado sunrise. I took some nice photographs of the sun rising behind a cornfield and sunflowers, a gentle reminder of the beauty and bounty bestowed upon us. It’s always good to occasionally connect with the source of our sustenance.
Coming to the farm is still a tug on my emotions. I find it very difficult to explain. I have chosen a new path and a new place to live where I am very happy, and yet, so much of my life was spent here. I raised my children here. I matured here. I worked hard to build a business and a home and a community here. I have no regrets about where I am now, and yet, when I come here – there is still this inexplicable tug.
It is difficult to hear about the number of children attending the rural school where my children graduated. There are now half as many kids living out here. I know the reason why, mechanization, efficiency, etc., but it is so hard to see it happen. Twenty years ago I started a campaign to save these schools, but I didn’t have sufficient skill at that time to articulate the vision to the “natives” who had lived here forever. Now I hear the bell toll and it is a sad, sad sound to hear. There are still some wonderful successes carrying forward from the efforts of that group of hard working community volunteers. That is very gratifying. Maybe it is the best that we could have hoped for.
Walking through the beautiful trees I planted – all those decades ago – is bittersweet. I am gratified to see how large they have grown but it makes me feel rather unsettled that they are growing old without me. The first maple tree I brought home, the size of my little finger, is a giant now. I told my grandson the story of that tree, and as in the centuries before me, that is how we will live on, in our stories. Of course, there are the sandburs and goat heads too, and I am sure, like the coyotes, they will be here long after we are gone.