It’s been a while since I wrote about my early years on the family farm.
I title this one: Lessons I Learned on the Farm. There are two homes in which most of my memorable childhood moments were lived.
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth saying again. The years we lived at our home in Buena and my experiences there are high on my list of childhood favorites. Since I was quite young at the time and still saw the world through coveted, childlike innocence, every day was an opportunity to play and discover. For me, outdoors was the best place to spend the day.
After our Buena home was destroyed by fire and our family displaced, my Mother relocated us to another small-town, rural home, one that would still allow for gardening, raising animals, and plenty of room for outdoor activity for her children. Functional farm life, but on a smaller scale.
Since a farm is constantly teaming with life and activity, opportunities to learn about the principles of life are endless.
As I ponder and think back, here are a few lessons I learned from my life on the farm.
- There is a cycle to life: human & animal. All of these finite cycles were witnessed on our farm. I wept at the loss of beloved pets, and together we grieved the loss of loved ones. These lessons taught me early on that life is precious and valued.
- There are consequences for our actions, good and bad. Somehow, the more unpleasant consequences are most vivid in my memories, probably because those didn’t happen very often, as my Mom always said we were well-behaved children. But when the necessary time came for my Mother to impart wisdom upon our backsides, she did it well and that was that. Lesson learned, end of story! Need I say more?
- When no one is around, animals make good listeners. Countless hours were spent sitting on the back porch talking to our cat, in exchange for limitless stroking of his orange fur, as well as an occasional taste of my lollipop. I don’t know why, but my siblings found that quite disgusting. Time stood still in the hours I spent sitting or laying on my horse’s bare back contemplating life from a kid’s perspective, while he grazed in the pasture.
- There is much wisdom in planning ahead. Had it not been for my Mother’s diligence in acquiring produce and meat during the spring and summer months, perhaps our dinner table would not have been as abundant with good, nourishing food for our large family. We were so blessed to have such a determined and resourceful Mother. A fine example of the woman described in Psalm 31.
- Life has boundaries. My safe-haven was within the white-fenced border of our property where I found the freedom to explore my world hands-on, while under the protection and watchful eye of my caring Mother. With the exception of a few childhood scrapes & one particular run-in with the back door, (click here to read about that & other farm adventures), the boundary around our home afforded my siblings and I the liberty to just be children.
- When the going gets tough, your family is there for you. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, and I am so thankful that I was born into that type of family.
I wouldn’t trade any of these days or their corresponding life lessons for any other in the world. For though we may not have had all the luxuries the world had to offer, the ‘things’ we possessed were not things at all, but the most cherished and precious moments and relationships that anyone could ever desire. For that, I am truly thankful.