When I was younger, I was fortunate to live on a farm for a few years. We had horses and a few other farm animals; accompanied by a few dogs and cats (bats too - but they weren't really cute or cuddly).
Every day we would wake up to the smell of hay, grass, and all things green. Our horses would neigh and I'd feed them, let them out for a quick run, and get off to school. I rode them in the afternoons when school was over, life was good.
Our farm was on a tiny dirt road, no one even knew we were there. Our little home was OLD, probably built in the mid 1800s, it still had an ice house on the porch, a well outside and a stone wall basement. The floors were big planks of beautiful wood and the rooms were tiny, but cozy. Nothing was straight - the floors, the ceilings, the steps - all off, and a bit crooked, but we loved our home's character! The quiet there was heaven. Of course, at the time, for a teenager, quiet, sadly, wasn't always appreciated.
Then, it was off to college (zero quiet there!). Eventually, my mom sold our little farm on the dirt road (and the horses were sold too) and she joined the ranks of townhouse owners.
From time to time, I think of our little farm, it's still there, fixed up and looking very pretty. The barns are still there, and horses live there too. It's one of the few places that has a dirt road too - still!
My husband has always been enchanted with farms as well. He didn't have the fortune of living on one as I did, but, a few years ago, he recalled a farm he went to, as a child, for pumpkin picking. Ends up this farm happens to be the same one that my mom brought us to as kids to go pumpkin picking too! I do wonder, at times, if we were ever in that big old pumpkin field at the same time as 6, 7 or 8 year olds???
Today, we bring our three-year-old daughter to that same farm, Alstede Farms. We adore it! It's much larger than the little farm I lived on as a teenager. But it has so many of the characteristics of my little farm. There are horses and ponies and some beautiful scents of hay!
Our daughter goes on wagon and pony rides and climbs hay bales and tunnels. She loves petting and feeding the goats, cows, pigs and donkeys. My husband pulls a metal wagon through the fruit and vegetable fields as we pick fresh apples, peaches, berries, pumpkins and veggies. For a man who would never think of meditating, this is it. This IS his meditating. He's clear as a bell and the happiest person I know when he wanders the grounds of Alstede.
Alstede Farms recently held an annual pig roast. We attended the event just last night and I think we're still "on a high"! Seeing our favorite place on a crisp (almost) autumn night, riding a hay wagon, watching a bonfire and eating fresh farm foods was the PERFECT family date - best we've ever had. We will certainly be making this an annual event!
Of course, next weekend we'll be back, we need more apples and pumpkins are looking good too. Plus, I'm due to make a few more trays of eggplant parmigiana :) And my husband needs his meditating time (aka - walking through the fields)
And one of these days, who knows, maybe we'll find a little farm of our own , on a tiny dirt road, to call home too.