I long for experiencing a life of simplicity in the midst of our current modern world.
But sometimes — well, most of the time — I don’t know how to get there. Thankfully, that’s what friendship and honest community can do. A new friend recently invited us to spend the day out at her farm and the experience hit me with some long forgotten memories.
I thought, I’ve been here before.
My earliest childhood memories are from my grandmother’s farm. By then, most of the animals were gone which left a haunting emptiness. I remember swimming in a giant cow trough with my cousins, playing hide-and-seek in deserted barns, swinging on a tire swing and helping collect eggs from the chicken coop before they too were gone. Both warm and sad, these memories always felt like nostalgic vapers, like promises of possibility too thin to grab onto or fully materialize.
Then everything shifted.
Surrounded by familiarity, those dusty old feelings came back but this time there was so much life bursting everywhere! The difference was profound. As I watched my own kids play, just as I did with my cousins, the sadness from my own memories began to recede. I felt something I didn’t know was broken begin to heal. I felt a new connection to an ageless dream.
Together, our kids explored the woods in the backyard. They fed the chickens and watched pigs roll in the mud. They climbed trees and chased frogs. They even paddled a canoe down the river. They painted rocks and learned how to shoot a bow and arrow. Each was a simple moment the busyness of the modern world could not snuff out here.
Sometimes we don’t know what’s missing in our lives until it’s given to us.
We all have unspoken hopes and dreams we’ve forgotten about, quiet longings laying dormant for years or decades that wake back up in an unexpected moment, through no power of our own. It starts with a simple invitation, someone willing to reach out, willing to risk rejection and stay present.
All we have to do is show up. Life does the rest.
When a connection is made, it heals. It allows us to find lost parts of ourselves again.