Hanging up the old barn coat
It is with a grateful and full heart that I must announce we are closing down the farm and moving into town. By next Friday all the animals will be in their respective new homes. We decided some time ago to downsize and spent a lot of time in careful and thoughtful reflection on the matter. In May 2014our farm and home will be going up for sale. We have purchased a home close by. There are seasons to every phase of our lives. I am grateful to have had the experience of this one. Surely, if God grants desires, than all the sweet animal faces of the last four years, who I know by name and by heart, will be there to greet me someday when I cross over to God's golden shore. There are many reasons we made this decision. It is not out of necessity, but rather by making choices and prioritizing our lives, so that we may live fully. I would be lying if I said it didn't hurt a little to hang up the old barn coat. Someday, my grandchildren will wonder (but likely be afraid to ask) why it is Grandma keeps a smelly, dirty, chaff covered, be-spotted, largely unattractive orange canvas coat in her closet. I don't know that I will be able to admit to them that once in awhile, in a private moment I take that coat out and put it on, inhale deeply and let myself be carried back to an utter and complete immersion in God's creation. The sounds of stubborn geese, the smell of hay, dirt, blood, new life..... the sadness of death and loss....the joy of that first breath, curious ducklings, goslings and chicks....a lamb's tail that wags when it suckles. The tiny tin trumpet sounds of newborn kids and lambs as they call to their mothers; and their mothers calm and reassuring answers. The cacophony of a barnyard at feeding time. The quiet solitude of a barn full of animals waiting on winter. The expectant joy of the first green shoots of spring. The labor pains of mother nature as she recreates each season, over and over again. The joy and trials of back breaking hard work and exposure to the elements. I will remember that it helped me more fully understand the meaning of a good shepherd. I will remember that I was proud to call myself a shepherd and a farmer. I would like to thank all of you. Never in my life have I met such a wonderful, good, honest, hard-working group of people, nor felt such camaraderie with complete strangers over a common cause. A cause that is anything but common. It is a cause that is divine. God bless you all.