I was deep into my time at the farm. I had nearly forgotten what it was like to wake up in my own room or sleep late. I was living a dorm life in a farmhouse. The rules and regulations were never my favorite. Neither was the showering times or the bathrooms.
I have to admit it, like it or not, the replacement of time was me, away from my regular home in a quasi-institution.
People still amaze me. At least, I want them to. At least, I hope they will because above all I don’t ever want to lose my belief in amazement.
I want to be amazed because I still want to be surprised every once in a while. I want to be amazed and see new amazing things, which are not even so new at all.
Take a child for example. I want to see kids play, and I mean really play, not with a handheld device or something automated —instead, I want to watch a child play with a toy that actually needs human interaction.
I want to see kids in a playground, screaming as they slide down the slide or swing as high as they can on the swings. I want to see this and feel as if hope is still alive and not reprogrammed into an app on a cell phone.
To be honest, I have always had a fascination for this, and you, and the idea that there is a life out there, still waiting for me, no matter what my age might be. I fascinated with the idea that I am still able to change, to dream, to be and recreate.
I have this idea of me, driving along and turning off from a long, empty state road, way up in the Upstate Mountains.
The sky is as blue as it will ever be. There are scattered formations of white summery clouds, as bright as the mind could imagine, and the sun beams down across the mountainsides.
Between the before and after is a pivotal moment that changes us. This can change our lives and change our world. The pivotal moment between before and after is the catalyst of change that alters the way we see, think, or feel. This can happen frequently or infrequently. This can come up suddenly, often, daily, or once in a lifetime. The catalyst is not aligned with good or bad or even indifferent. The moment can be either or. A catalyst is something that creates change. Nothing more, nothing less.
I look around us and I see the path we’re on. I look around at our society. I see the people that we work with and live with and the faces we pass on a daily basis. I see the good and the bad, the tough and the easy. I see life and death and all that meet in-between. I look around at the basic and daily complications we all face.
It was late afternoon towards the end of August. The entire house was out in the fields for most of the day. The sun was hot and the air was thick. Our job was to gather the hay bales after the mowers cut and bundled the grass. I can’t say this was easy because it wasn’t.
I never did anything like this before. I never saw hay in the rough; and what I mean is I never saw freshly cut hay bales nor did I understand how heavy they could be because the grass was still wet and green. When I think of hay, I think of barns and blocks of tan straw. But that’s not what they look like when they’re fresh.
I had a dream about the farm last night. I had a dream that I was standing in a gazebo with white posts on a birch wood flooring, elevated, and slightly high enough so that I could overlook the grounds and see my surroundings.
I was overlooking the fields and the barn and the houses on the hill, which is where I stay and where the kids stay and more accurately, this is where anyone could stay, should they need a place to stay.
There is a kitchen big enough for all with a dining room that is serviced by us and fed by us from a meal that was created by us.
There is a place for you here. I’m sure of it.
This is a safe haven. This is a place where all can heal, we can be, we can overcome and learn to live, love, and laugh without fear, worry, guilt, or shame.
I was more than two hours into a three hour summertime drive. I was heading back up to an upstate world. I was miles away from the city and miles away from populated towns and overcrowded streets. After a while, everything looks the same on roads like this.
The road is long, straight, and seems to be unending. There are trees and the mountains on either side of me. The fields, the empty pastures, the occasional barns, the fields with cows, the occasional farm, and the scattered deer alongside the road; everything looked this way, pastoral and peaceful. Everything was so green and calming, of course, like a ride out to the country should be.