The safe feeling of country living

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Ohio farm silhouette

After a long season of cold and gloom, the first day that really shines like Spring is medicine to the soul, and we grab it with gusto.

Coming off of a tough week of fighting the flu, the sun pouring in my window this past Saturday morning brought me exactly what I needed. It felt great to have some skip in my step after nearly 10 days of illness.

A visit to the barn to see how much the lambs had grown served as a jolting reminder of how fast the cycles of a farm go by.

It also put in perspective how amazing it is to be so sick that the boot of gloom seems suffocating; a week passes and a walk in the sunshine, watching young lambs romp and run, brings a true rush of gratitude for healthy bodies all around.

It was a perfect day to finally take a spin with the four-wheeler toy — used but not one bit abused — we treated ourselves to after responding to an ad in the Farm and Dairy in the dead of winter.

We brought ‘Gus’ home back in January with the excitement of two kids on Christmas. It sat in the machinery shed waiting for a day like this one.

Doug did the driving and I did the holding on as we revved Gus to life.

We checked all the pastures and miraculously managed to not get stuck, in spite of the fact the spring thaw has turned parts of our front pasture into temporary swampland.

We moved to the higher ground of our hayfield and drove across the western boundary, and were happy to see our new neighbors outside working on completing their vegetable greenhouses.

It was a great day to meet them. The husband and wife, with an adorable toddler daughter, are so happy to be here. Their joy was evident, and it brought a type of happiness to us that can’t really be explained.

A native of Oklahoma, she made one comment that will stay with me.

“I love how safe we feel here. I came from the city, and was surrounded by all that goes with city life….I didn’t even know that I didn’t feel safe until we came here, and now I know how incredible it is, how much it means, to feel safe, to have peace, and to have neighbors who genuinely care about our plans for this little farm.”

Like this young couple, we count ourselves grateful to be here.

It is only with layer upon layer of grace along life’s way that we ended up on this farm, a place that felt like home the moment we set foot upon it.

The quiet is a gift in itself, bringing a peace far from the madness of a world we cannot understand.

What a re-awakening this day has been.

I watch the ewes, relieved to have weaned their offspring, enjoy the greening pastures as they find freedom from the barn, calling to one another as they run.

The only other thing I hear as I write this is the sweet chirping of a songbird, and I am reminded how lucky I am to be right where I am meant to be.

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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, in college.

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