Even though we thoughtfully and deliberately made the move to Kalamazoo, sometimes the introvert in me wishes that we could live out in the country away from other people and give our kids that magical farm-life childhood full of freedom and dirt and exploring. If I’m being honest with myself, however, I’ve never liked yard work and I’m a bit of a sun-phobic; I love the outdoors, but mostly only between about 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. So visiting farmer friends is a much better compromise.
Our path and our timing seems to have an odd yin/yang way of diverging with that of our good friends Jodie and Guillermo. We met them 13 years ago when I first moved to New York, and Jodie then helped me to land on my feet and find my way all alone in an unfamiliar and overwhelming place. In a year or so, however, they decided to move away and life took them way out west (Jodie to Seattle, Guillermo to Alaska, if I remember correctly), then to Portland, and then finally back to Michigan in pursuit of farm life (with lots of other travel adventures in between). Jodie grew up on a farm, and together they’ve made it their life’s work and purpose. We relied on their advice as we decided whether we could truly move back “home”, since they’d done something similar. And then only a month after we arrived, they announced that they are moving back to New York, but this time upstate to buy a farm. We’re so happy for them, and yet so sad that our paths are moving us in opposite directions once again.
Yesterday they had a small going-away party on their property, so the kids got to spend a few hours dipping their toes into farm living. I loved watching them play and explore: searching for raspberries, climbing on the tractor, wandering through fields. So much joy.