"The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Posts tagged ‘enchantment’

“They pick up me when I fall.”

Yesterday afternoon I experienced one of those precious moments of life that are so sweet, so heart-warming, so divine that it made me wish I could package it up in a pretty purple box and tie it up with a gold ribbon and a big bow so that I may open the gift again and again and again.

Jeff was feeding bees and putting mouse guards in the hives while I was in the garden gathering, bundling, collecting and preparing for winter. Our granddaughter Alexandria was back and forth between us, assisting, asking questions and just being her happy little 4-year-old self.

It had been sprinkling on and off all afternoon until a point came where it seemed like it was going to be more on than off. As I started packing my harvest into the truck I called to Alex to gather her things and come sit in the truck with me to wait for the rain to pass.

“I not wet Gairma!” she said, as she trotted off and disappeared behind the garden shed. (she calls me Gairma instead of Grandma – “Gair” sounds like “Hair”) As I was putting things away I noticed that she was purposefully going up and down the garden rows, stopping occasionally, and then continuing on.

We’ve had a few really cold nights so most of the garden has wilted, however Alex is rarely without a fistful of flowers of some sort and this day was no exception. We climbed into the truck to watch the rain. As we talked she opened her little hand and laid an assortment of flowers out on the console.

Her collection contained flowers of viola, anise hyssop, lavender, white snake root, stevia and borage. We talked about each of them in turn, noting the colors, the scents and the size of the flower petals. When we got to stevia we tasted the leaves. Her face lit up at the sweetness and she quickly asked for another. After talking about each flower and before moving on to the next she would declare it her favorite. “Viola is my favorite!” When we shared about anise hyssop before moving on to the lavender she said, “Anise hyssop is my favorite!” and so on through all of the flowers.

I observed, “You really love flowers don’t you?”

She nodded her head and said “Yes … they pick up me when I fall.” I think I may have held my breath at that moment, wanting to stop time right there in the divinity of what she had just said and how it made me feel. She started to explain “When I fall down … ” and she spread her hands down toward the floor “they pick up me” and she brought her hands back up and crossed her arms over her heart.

I love flowers. They pick up me when I fall. Alexandria Jordan Buckalew - Age 4I said, “So they make you feel better?”

“Yes” she said, nodding her head again. She selected a beautiful geranium blossom she had brought with her from Pop-pop’s house, brought it to her face and said, “They give me a kiss.” Her angelic little face glowing in refection of the pink-orange petals, she puckered her lips, closed her eyes and kissed the flower. “See?”

Moving Toward a Dream

My husband Jeff and I have shared the dream of owning a farm almost since the day we met, nearly 31 years ago. When we would talk about our future farm and what it would be like, we described it pretty much like most people would describe a farm. Big house, barns, fences, storage silos, endless fields where large tractors are used to plant, cultivate and harvest vast expanses of corn and hay. So it’s a bit curious that the land we purchased looks nothing like that.

Autumn Pond

Autumn Pond – October 2006

Our “farm” is not a traditional farm at all and is really not at all like the dream as we had envisioned it, however it’s so, so much more. It is wooded wetlands – swamp – consisting of approximately 100 acres of forest, 4 cleared acres and a 4 acre pond. There were no buildings, no fences and no vast fields waiting to be planted but it really didn’t seem to matter. It spoke to us just as it was. We were enchanted by it. No, it didn’t fit the picture we had painted of our dream but we felt called to live, to be and to explore … right here.

Sweet Gum Leaf

Sweet Gum Leaf – October 2006

The two and a half year process of purchasing the land was a challenge that also brought many unexpected gifts. We discovered that the rules, regulations and criteria we had to meet to build a home here were, at their core, about protecting the resource value of the land. We were exposed to new terms in relation to describing and defining our land. Some examples are; transition area, habitat, nesting area, endangered, threatened, ordinary resource value vs. exceptional resource value, upland, wetland, and riparian.

Graceful Grass

Graceful Grass – October 2006

What all that means is that our land is defined as a portion of a larger area of wetland or swampland which acts as a filter for the water running through it. It’s a transition area; a buffer between the higher land elevations and the point where land ends and water begins. It is home to¬† native plant species such as various grasses, rushes and sedges, milkweed, several species of aster, fern, orchid, mints, mosses, and various trees and shrubs. This combination of greenery provides habitat for wildlife including bear, deer, fox, coyote, beaver, raccoon, rabbits, squirrels, eagles, hawks, owls, vultures, hummingbirds, turtles, frogs and snakes, serves as a stopping point for migratory birds and as a pollen and nectar source for important insect pollinators such as native bees, butterflies and honey bees.

What it all means for us is that by having a dream and moving toward it we’ve landed at a place that we hadn’t anticipated. It isn’t “less than” or “better than”, it’s just different and unique. We were open to hearing and following the call. We allowed ourselves to be enchanted by the beauty of the land itself vs being locked into a dream that could only be manifested as the vision of a farm we had described for three decades. Our dream is not necessarily manifesting as we had imagined but it is already revealing itself to be so much bigger than we had ever anticipated.

Autumn Meadow

Autumn Meadow – October 2006

In the process of moving toward the dream we’ve pretty much turned our ideas and beliefs about farming upside down. We have discovered aspects of agriculture that we weren’t aware existed before this journey. As an added bonus, integrating new beliefs about agriculture has also somehow curiously revealed things of ourselves that we had forgotten or had been out of touch with for a very long time. Aspects of ourselves that when explored or revealed become like a sort of nourishment to the manifesting of the dream. Assisting it to unfold and blossom before us, petal by petal.

St. John's Wort in Abundance

St. John’s Wort in Abundance – October 2006

We’ve been given the opportunity to turn our beliefs about ourselves upside down a bit as well. What began as a desire to survive by growing things and living off the land has been transformed into a calling to live in stewardship to the land. In this we are watching and participating, moving forward and sitting still. In some cases we are assisting it to be and in others we are letting it be. In the “doing” or “not doing” we are moving from living a life of simply surviving into a life of absolutely thriving.

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