Those of you who know me also know that for many summers I would be out of town for work for five weeks. I am now semi-retired and no longer hold that job, and this is the first summer in 19(!) years that I am at home.
Amazing what you can find out when your life changes that drastically.
I found out that our little farm is a total joy now that I have regained the strength and stamina to work outside.
I found out that I like running errands with my husband instead of the ‘divide and conquer’ approach that our busy lives used to require.
I found out that chickens love strawberries.
I found out that we have two pie cherry trees in our yard.
Now, how did we live in this house for five years and NOT know that we have two (two!) cherry trees? Because we were away during cherry season every year — we would leave town before there was any fruit on the trees and return long after it was gone. We thought those two trees were some kind of ornamental shade trees that bloomed for a few days in the Spring.
Imagine our delight in finding fruit this year and then further discovering that these are pie cherries.
Yesterday my husband and I spent about an hour together harvesting the ripe cherries, and there are still many more to go! Canning commences soon, and I’m planning this winter’s cherry cobblers already!
To me, these cherries, these newly uncovered treasures, are a symbol of a life that has become more intentional. I’m no longer working full time, chasing a ‘career.’ I’m not out of town on a business trip every month or so. I don’t accumulate frequent flyer points anymore.
Home to enjoy slow evenings in our bucolic backyard, meals on the patio, Bible Study in the shade. Home to harvest strawberries and make strawberry jam. Home to gather the herbs before they bolt, drying them for freshest flavor through the winter months. Home to laugh at the antics of our chickens and dogs and horses, to enjoy the births of two foals and to get to know them as they grow. Home to watch the rest of the garden growing at a prodigious rate, anticipating the harvest of potatoes, corn, beans, squashes, and tomatoes that is to come.
I didn’t know how terribly stressed and rushed I was until it all came to an abrupt end. And when the dust cleared, I realized that I now have the privilege of living my dream. For me, home is the place that I belong (and I don’t say that to imply that every woman belongs at home – I’m saying that for me, and me only). It turns out that canning and freezing, providing good and nourishing food grown in our own garden, are passions of mine. Good health and helping people recover theirs is a passion. Learning as much as I can about our amazing bodies and how they respond to nutrition and environment is a passion.
It turns out that my former job was not a passion. Even though there were many aspects of it that I enjoyed and many people involved whom I really liked, in the end it was a j.o.b.
God is faithful. Romans 8:28 tells us that all things (ALL) work together for good in the lives of His followers. I was forced to make a very drastic change, but God turned a seemingly negative situation into what is arguably one of the most positive changes of my entire life.
That was brought home to me in vivid and glorious color yesterday when we discovered the cherries.
Where’s your place? What’s your dream? Discovered any cherry trees lately?