My apologies for the lengthier nature of this particular post. I had a lot to say today :-)...
Having been a city girl for so long has, apparently, made me a bit of a skeptic. Being really new to the blogging world, I'm actually surprised daily by all the online (and no-strings-attached) kindness that I encounter. Fellow bloggers are quick to reach out, post helpful and funny comments, present "awards", etc. It's wonderful.
What happens a bit less frequently, however, is finding a blog that touches you personally. Finding a blog where the words used, or a picture posted, strikes a chord within you because it's close to your own heart is startling. This happened to me today. A blogger who reached out to me this morning, Christy, is making a journey very similar to mine. She has been planning her own move to a farm for what feels like forever to her. Her posts describe many of her dreams, struggles, and challenges in frank and honest words. In one of her efforts to manifest this dream of hers, she posted a picture today of a miniature toy farm that she and her family have been setting up. It's as if focusing on these little representations can keep her dream alive when no other movement seems to be happening. Christy's blog touched me because this feels quite familiar to me. I know what it feels like to want to change your life so badly you can taste it, while at the same time fearing that it will never happen.
And although the specific details of our two lives are different, my own internal journey has been very similar to Christy's. Whenever my spirits dipped or my dream felt exceptionally remote, I would find myself reaching for some tangible sign - anything at times - that we could still make this move happen. The things I chose to be my "tangible representations" appeared in many different forms.
Many may find this silly or have a hard time understanding, but I've found that when you want something desperately, often it is the small things and private thoughts that allow you to feel like you're moving forward, even if all other evidence indicates your dreams have stalled. Even if that small thing is a toy or a magazine clipping or a silver charm found on the pavement in the shape of a cowboy boot. I'm a true believer in thinking things into reality. It is that desire and positive energy that makes incredible things happen.
After reading Christy's post today and being so affected by that one simple picture, I went through my photo files and found some of the small things I have relied upon during low times over the years to help me feel like my farm dreams weren't disappearing:
I started keeping a ceramic rooster named "Mike" in the rabbit hutch in our urban backyard over three years ago. He makes me smile:
I began collecting reading material (and decorative objects) on a subject I had been obsessing over:
I started saving old advertisements on farm trucks and farm life:
I requested all my friends and neighbors to stop recycling their empty egg cartons and start saving them for my future eggs:
I began photographing farm tools and accessories that I wanted to have once we had a piece of land:
I played with toys...
Wooden animals from East Germany stood on the sill over my sink:
And Playmobil farm critters were arranged just so:
And my son and I began volunteering at a farm sanctuary, the Lighthouse Farm Animal Sanctuary, where we have learned much about gently raising healthy farm animals and living the rural life:
Of course, like for Christy, there have been many low moments for me along the way. There have been times when I was 100% certain that I would never have the opportunity to really become a "farm girl". Along the way, my dream has refined and reshaped itself many times. And now that our move to the country is really about to happen, I find myself still trying to figure out what the HECK I am really going to do once I'm there. Yet the desire to move to the land has never once waned or changed. The yearning to have a place where I can live with many animals just keeps growing.
Please check out Christy's blog, Farm Dreams, if you get a chance. Her goals for 2008 have her doing an incredible number of cool things that I will be interested in reading about and, if I'm brave, possibly attempting myself. Among these things are...learning to dehydrate food, making soap, experimenting with herbal remedies, learning to can, and hatching eggs with an incubator.
Good luck, Christy! I truly know what you're going through. May 2008 be the year your ultimate dream comes true. :-)