Monday, June 14, 2010

Homesick? Not really...

It never ceases to amaze me how I can miss home SO MUCH one moment and fall in love with another place the next.

There are TONS of things I miss about home: peanuts, walking barefoot down dirt roads, the Chattahoochee River, the sound of the wind singing in the pine trees... there are a lifetime of memories living in the land, the land I was raised on. Some days I miss it so much I physically hurt.

This past weekend though, I had the chance to visit my roommate’s Illinois farm. It was there, standing on her back porch that I fell in love... again.

The land stretched out before me farther than any I had ever seen before--it was as if the sky was twice the size of the sky at home. The corn rows were never ending. Barely visible, in the distance, were wind turbines.

Yep, I was sold.

I spent the rest of the weekend dodging rain showers, hanging out with her family and enjoying Midwest delicacies (AKA Pork Burgers--why hasn't the South figured this one out yet?!) I realized that it wasn't so much that Florida dirt that I missed but the community and care of agriculture life; the knowledge that things are not as bad as they seem, especially when there's cake at home and family to laugh with. I missed knowing that people pay attention to what others do (yes, I suppose I miss small town gossip a bit) and truly care about their well being.

Let me just tell you folks, that can be hard to come by in the city... unless maybe you were raised there.

There's just something about farm life that makes living and growing up a reckless-safe adventure. An oxymoron, I know... reckless in the fact that you have the freedom to be innovative, to build a better mouse trap, to find a way to get just as much work done using a simpler method. Reckless-- because there is a whole wild world to explore and it starts at your back porch. Reckless--because life dependent on nature has to be, it's anything but reliable.

Farm life is also safe. I remember coming home so cotton-pickin' mad that all I wanted to do was go fast... and most of the time my grandparents (Ma and Pa--no one really has "grandparents" in the South) kept me grounded. I was hard headed and stubborn, but their love cultivated me into the person I am today. (Along with the rest of the "village") They didn't always understand my restlessness or my love for FFA or accept the fact that I enjoy driving tractors and showing cows... but they were always there. They always knew what to say (not always when to stop but that's a different story... =)

It was this weekend I realized why I was homesick. I missed the reckless/safe life I had been privileged to live at home. It has made me more determined than ever to return to it, and offer it as a gift to my kids one day.

So, to answer the 4,329 questions from Facebook: No, I have no big city notions. I like the farm just fine--and I hope to be back there for good in about a year =)

Love y'all all


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