I never thought that I would belong on a farm. If you would have asked me in school if I thought I’d grow up to be a farm girl, I would have said you were nuts.
See, I spent my youth and first years of adulthood performing on stage, singing and acting. I was headed off to get a Masters of Fine Arts in Musical Theater.
That was the plan. Everyone knew it.
But plans, no matter how solid, change.
“You moved to a farm?” I’ve heard a few times. “You have a…farm? But you belong on stage!”
Life is sorta funny that way.
Somewhere along the line, plans changed.
I met a really tall guy (who was not an actor) from a pretty small town (that was nowhere near the cities) and I liked the way the world looked when we held on to each other. A family heirloom wedding ring and a couple kids later, we ended up here at our farm.
We end up where we belong, even if it’s not what we planned.
The crazy thing is that a year or so after we moved to our farm, I was paid a visit from an older family member that I didn’t often see. He knew me as a singer—a performer—not a farmgirl. He stopped by to see our new place, especially interested because he’d grown up on a farm himself.
He watched me come out of the house in Muck boots, threadbare jeans, an old flannel jacket, and a bandanna wrapped around my head. I welcomed him and we started to talk.
We talked about about chickens and butchering and how we don’t whack their heads off, we use a kill cone.
Yes, we built the cones.
Yes, we’ve picked raspberries.
Yes, we had a garden this year.
No, we don’t have cattle.
Yes, I like cattle, we just don’t have any.
We talked about hay. We talked about horses.
We talked about pigs. He used to have pigs once.
We walked and talked and as we moved around the farm, I noticed one of my little goats had gotten out of the fence.
I scooped her up, still talking about nothing having to do with goats, and plopped her into the arms of my oldest son who was in the pasture.
I kept right on talking, but my guest just stopped and stared at me.
“I’m so happy for you,” he said.
“You just…you walk out of the house looking like you, well…you talk about this and that like it’s what you’ve always…well,… you scoop that little goat up like it’s the most natural thing in the world…”
I probably blushed.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m having trouble finding the words to explain myself.”
“I guess I’m just so happy for you because…you look like you belong here.”
Belong is a pretty heavy, meaty word. It feels good to use it.
And mean it.
I still play guitar at church and sing in the choir. I speak in funny accents to my chickens and I make up Broadway-esque songs for my pigs. Clearly, I am making good use of the skills I honed on stage.
It’s just nice to still be able to put those skills to work in a place I actually belong.
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