Draw of the water is so irresistible


In the dead of winter, I dream deep dreams of swimming. As the thermometer sits precisely on zero this morning on our farm, I just awoke from a blissful night of dreaming, snuggled down in my cozy warm bed, topped with a down comforter.
I had enjoyed one of those seemingly endless dreams in which anything is possible and life unfolds with absolute joy. There were glorious swimming pools that seemed to open onto sandy beaches with the magnificent ocean welcoming, beckoning me to come in for a swim.
I swam far beyond the breaking tides and found myself enjoying the peaceful waters of an expansive ocean. I realized there were two people on rafts, so I swam effortlessly to them to say hello.
It turned out to be Susan Crowell and her husband, enjoying a vacation away from it all! We chatted about everything from agricultural news coverage to the olden days of wading in creeks and swimming in hollows; then I said my good-byes and swam to shore.
Joy. Suddenly, once I arrived on shore, I was no longer alone. My daughter, a tiny little thing in a polka-dotted swimming suit, greeted me and reminded me that it was her birthday. She was 2 years old and I needed to plan a beach party.
I scooped my tiny daughter up in my arms and the joy of holding that little girl was immeasurable. Isn’t that the wonderful thing about dreams? Anything is possible!
I have been blessed with dreams in which I watch my father climbing up in his Gleaner combine, smiling and happy to be working where he found the greatest joy.
In these dreams, he always reminds me to find and follow a path that will bring such happiness as farming brought to him. I always awake from these dreams with a truly amazing feeling that stays with me for days on end.
Ever since I was just a tiny little girl, I longed to swim. I can still vaguely remember driving to Uncle Emery and Aunt Martha Young’s pond with agitated excitement. Sitting in the back seat with my older sisters, we all chimed in about who was going to jump in the


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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren.