In 2015 we were very privileged to spend half a year living on a small farm. It was a whole different pace of life to anything else. We lived in a little chalet and were surrounded by trees, breezes, sounds of horses galloping, smells of earth and leaves. Often when I walked from one house to the other I often caught myself walking at city speed. I had to intentionally s l o w down. Slow down everything. Walking. Talking. Tasks. Busy town-speed just didn’t match and wasn’t necessary. I had to gear down into a slower speed of being alive.
It is hard to describe something deeply special in prose. So here is a collection of photos from the farm and some sentences I wrote off the top of my head the other night. The sentences flowed and I didn’t want to labour over them either. I LOVED taking photos on the farm so I have included some favourites. Try imagine an absence of traffic noise and only a gentle sound of leaves in the breeze. The time we spent there was one of the treasures of my life.
Life at farm speed.
In 2015 we were kind of caught by loving friends as we fell hurtling through a crack between two life plans. One was the past and one was to be the future.
These friends caught us as we fell from the sky – as it felt – and bundled us up into their cabin on their farm. We called out to God hourly and weekly and month by month. And eventually our life reassembled, but actually by little effort of our own as we had no effort to give, no energy.
Months passed by on the farm. Necessary months. Breakfast walks down the bridle trails. To the horses who’d come nearer and nearer. Night walks to stand and watch the moon. And the stars of south western sky. A very presence overhead.
Crops were planned. Fields were ploughed. Clods of earth unearthed. Seeds were planted. The farmers drove their tractors and attended to sheep, and machinery, and fields. They plotted a huge shed and planned many other new things and worked so many hours. Dusty. Satisfied.
Bonfires were had on Friday nights with food and people and dogs and kids all around. Claire cooked and invited. The farm family embraced. Embraced those who needed it. Even the dogs loved those who needed it. They ran wagging tails around the whole farm, morning till night.
The wind drifted through the leaves and branches. Always. With good farm smells. Leaves lay everywhere. The older Dad raked and raked them. Sometimes he also stopped to tell us some of his many stories of old days. Farming and horses.
The girls swung on ropes over the dam. Plonking in. Hours and hours of swimming. Water brown. Bathers turned brown. The horses watched on.
I caught myself often walking too quickly. From one house to the other, I stopped and realised I was going too fast. Town-speed. Had to slow myself down. To farm-speed. Slow.
Gum leaves falling. Slow. Walking slow. Feel the warm dusty earth and flattened leaves underfoot. No hurry.
A healing place and time. More perfect a place to land no human could have planned. Only God in his foresight and knowledge of what would make my spirit soar even when lying low so broken.
Almost half a year there in those smells and mists and leaves and wood-stacks hearing the horses galloping from my bed. My legs and heart and mind slowed and imprinted with farm smell and sights and gentle place. Never to be forgotten.
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