As I sit on my queen Anne bed – very high off the floor, I can hear soft music playing and smell one of my favorite candles burning. More beautiful than the music are the sounds outside. It’s cool – just finished raining and my bedroom windows are open. I can feel the breeze wafting over me. I can hear the rustle of the leaves peacefully blowing outside on the trees. Every once in a while, I can hear a night bird calling. The country night is quiet and relaxing. I can faintly hear the soft moan of my neighbor’s cattle in the distance.
How I love the country! But our life here has become too hard. It used to be that people moved to the country for a simple life. That only works if you can make your living in the country. We have found that we sleep here and live in the city where we work every day – and each weekend we kill ourselves mowing, weeding, mending, repairing, trimming, planting and on and on. It’s too much.
If I had a million dollars, I would buy a piece of land with an existing small farm already established. It would have huge cottonwood trees all around the property and an old farm house with character and soul – one that housed a thousand memories of days gone by. The big eat-in kitchen would have a screened back door that squeaked when it opened and whose slam, upon exiting, would flood peacefully over me. There would be many out buildings filled with remnants of past residents – treasures to explore. There would be a creek nearby and lots of pens and pastures. My days would blur together into one blissful dream – rising early to the sounds of hungry animals and feeling such a sense of satisfaction when they would all greet me with anticipation as I brought them breakfast. Oh, the smell of fresh cut alfalfa, of honeysuckle in bloom on the trellis and lazy afternoon breaks spent barefoot on the front porch swing with a glass of sweet tea and a cool breeze.
I would garden and can and tend animals and feed us wonderful, healthy, home-cooked meals. And my grandchildren - when they came to visit, I would watch from the porch until I saw the dust from their car coming far off down the dirt road. And when they got out of the car, they would run to me and I’d scoop them up in my arms and snuggle my face into their little necks. Then I’d teach them all about life and love and death and sadness and all the wonderful and tragic things a farm can teach you – even when you don’t intend to learn them. And I would tuck them into bed beneath quilts I had made from long gone clothes and scraps and as I turned out the light and crawled into bed next to the love of my life, I would feel so full – so content – so complete.
Perhaps the dream is better than the reality would be and besides, I don’t have a million dollars and I can’t earn my living in the country, so I will be grateful for the wonderful life God has given me when we move back to the city.
But when you get to Heaven, you’ll know where to find me…down the old dirt road.