Cherished Memories

I received a comment on my old farm blog today. When I went to read it, I couldn’t help but cruise around the site. It had been many, many months since I had visited.

The last time I was there, I was in a much different place. Looking through all the old pictures broke my heart. The change of plans. The broken dreams. The things that didn’t quite turn out the way we envisioned. 

The last time I was there, I saw Gretel’s eyes and begged her to come back to us. Begged for her forgiveness for giving her away. Hoped she was still the happy girl I remembered.

The last time I was there, I saw my husband tilling  up our garden. The garden that is now an overgrown weed field. The garden that we had such big plans for. I saw the orchard. The berry patch. Both of which are long dead now.

The last time I was there, I saw so much potential. All lost. Abandoned.  

Every time I thought about it, my heart broke. Over and over again.

So I didn’t go back. I kept the farm in the back of my mind always, but I couldn’t bear to see it. To be reminded of it time and time again.

But tonight. Tonight I went back. Tonight I told Gouda that I still miss him. Still love him. Always will. I saw my old chickens and laughed at how funny they were. I remembered all the beautiful sunsets from the farm.  

Tonight I looked back on the farm with different eyes. I looked back on it with the fondest of memories. I looked back on it with a thankful heart, grateful for the opportunity. 

Tonight I realized that we bought the farm for a reason. And we left it for a reason.

All the choices we have made, both good and bad, have brought us to where we are today. And while I miss the farm, there are no doubts in my mind that we are exactly where we need to be at this moment in time. Leaving the farm taught us a lot about ourselves. About buried dreams. New directions. Endless possibilities.    

I love hobby farming. Have my entire life. Someday, we will return. I know this. But not yet. We have things to do first. Places to go. Adventures to embark upon. Dreams to chase.     

So tonight, and for all the nights to follow, I am looking back on the farm with great appreciation. For the lessons learned. The memories. The opportunities. The life. The courage. The love. 

I cherish it all.

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I had a few stories I wanted to share with you today. Stories that have been building up in my head over the last several days. Stories that I thought would come pouring out as soon as I sat down to type. But as I sit here, a New Year about to begin, I find myself remembering the past year, wishing some things had turned out differently, grateful that others turned out the way they did. Amazed at how different a place we find ourselves in now, compared to a short 365 days ago.

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The New Year is always so refreshing. A brand new opportunity to make things right. The chance to fix what’s broken. But how quickly we lose that determination, that resolve. Before too long, we are back into old habits, old ways of thinking, old ruts.

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And then there are the obstacles we must overcome. Those events that we could have done without. Wrong decisions we wish we hadn’t made. Plans that backfired. Occurences that, at the time, it seemed as though we would never overcome. Wounds that wouldn’t heal.

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But from the obstacles of life come new plans. New goals. Forgotten dreams. A braver, more bold self rises from the rubble of broken hearts, and a new future is planned. Every day you take another step and eventually, the past doesn’t hurt so much. You realize that it all did happen for a reason. And although there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to the way things were playing out, they were, in fact, all part of a perfectly planned orchestra. The feeling of defeat fades and you are one step closer to who you are meant to be.

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And at the end of every day, we are aware of the things that matter most in life, for they are not things at all. They are the priceless treasures of life. What makes us certain that there is no place on earth we would rather be.

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Tomorrow is a new day. A New Year. A perfect opportunity to start fresh. A chance to prove to ourselves just how tough we really are, to always get up one more time than we fall down. To roll with the punches, as they say. To enjoy each day of this beautiful ride called life, and know that in the end, we used every ounce of passion that we were given.

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Here’s wishing you a year of happiness and dreams come true. May 2012 be your best year yet.

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Happy New Year!