It was scheduled to be a quiet week for Skydive Burnaby, so slaDE and I decided to meander up to my Father’s farm in Teeswater. Returning home always has this magical healing effect that shifts and changes priorities, melding my soul deeper with nature, connecting me to the Mother Earth in no other way. The memories evoked by my return to the country transports me back to childhood days where I had:
- developed a love for the environment, unattainable through town living (I spent half my childhood life between town and the farm)
- revelations of discovery about the land and the hard, backbreaking work entailed to cultivate its essence
- fresh country air filling every ounce of my being
- a wealth of knowledge, education and appreciation for Mother Earth.
As an adult, the healing nature of a journey home is no different. slaDE has discovered this true magical adventure as well. Blessed we are!
There were a few new additions upon our return … the horses had been moved from the other farm to Dad’s backyard in the grazing pasture, surrounded by the newly laid fencing from our last visit. And a newborn mule named ‘Daisy’ was eager to vie for our attention and affection. Such a sweet sweet personality! The new stray cat was also in want of devoted admiration. We certainly had a captive audience in our return to the country. AWESOME.
We had every intention to spend but a few days in Bloomingdale on their Farm with our friends Brian, Jennifer and Roger. Yet having come across a magical place to park our Airstream in the woods with nature surrounding us, flowers fully in bloom, I was finding it difficult to find the momentum to carry forward with our weekend plans. Foreseeing that a weather front was scheduled to move in over the long weekend, we felt it an ideal solution to stay put on the Farm instead of hanging out at the dz on a wet and windy weekend. You see, our intention was to set up our home base at Skydive Burnaby for a few weeks before heading south to Alumapalooza in Jackson Centre, Ohio (where the 1st annual Airstream rally is being held from June 1-6). But I’m happy to say that we decided to stop and smell the roses, enjoying the farm life (which will end for Brian and friends at the end of July = eviction date) before our adventures once again shift and mould into diverse and spontaneous pathways yet unknown to both us and our friends on the farm. Here lies therein the premise behind living in the moment, enjoying the opportunities which arise and loving the freedom of a nomadic life.
Breathtaking spring flowers have exploded everywhere in the forests. And I’m a trigger-happy photographer, trying to capture the essence of shadow and light play on this amazingly scenic canvas. The scent of fresh rain, the sounds of the neighbouring horses and the bellowing nature calls have left me intoxicated with happiness and beauty. It almost feels as if we are sheltered by this magical bubble. Amidst the flurry of preparations for Monday evening’s Stephen Fearing house concert, there is peace and intellectual conversation flowing between new and old friends. Sock puppet plays, spontaneous moonlit concerts by the campfire, luxurious forest walks sprinkled with annoying mosquitos, farmers market meanderings and feasts of marvellous proportions (of course, sprinkled with the glorious consumption of delicious red wine) made for a long enjoyable weekend of bliss and heady tranquility.
Country living. If you have the perception that life out in the country is laid back as a snail with no worries or stress, I’d like you to experience life with my Father for a day. He lives out in the ‘boondocks’ as one might say. Farmland as far as the eye can see. Long stretches of highway with intermittent towns. Urban life? Distant and surreal. However, growing up on a farm, I am all too cognizant of the realities of farm life.From sunup to sundown, there are perpetual tasks to do. Trimming of trees, landscaping of lawn, garden and trees, tending of animals and building of fences. Just a few of the tasks on my Father’s farm(s). I’m finding that the time for a speedy walk in the morning is a luxury for many!
And at the end of the day, exercise is plentiful with the daily farm chores, sans the morning walk. And for the past week, numerous hands have aided in building the new fence surrounding the west-wing paddock. Hoping to move his horses from the other farm, Dad has taught himself the art of building fences, gleaning from techniques of the local Mennonites. Beautiful pine posts have been purchased, 500 in total. The Mennonites farm the trees from outside sources and process them, stripped of bark, barren in all their beauty. And one by one, fencing wire is strung between the stoic posts, which are augered and planted at 20 foot paces. It’s been a week-long process, with rotating handymen / women to lend aid in building an otherwise unnoticed countryside phenomenon. In the evenings, musical communities have come together, jamming on a variety of instruments to the tune of Old Time Country. Hard to believe that in the middle of nowhere Dad’s farm is a creative haven of activity, with a music room to boot! Unending pace, fresh clean air, glorious brilliant stars, nature views that make my heart pitter patter. So happy to return to this place I call home. A farm girl I am.
Building fences, forming communities, shaping relationships, founding musical freedom. Life doesn’t get much better!
Life on the farm, is filled with so many acoustic joys . The sound of silence. The morning song of birds at our windows. The musical expression of a Canadian flag, wildly beating a random rhythm against the flag pole, with the wind whistling in sweet percussion. The cadence of my footsteps as I walk through the countryside, oblivious to anything other than nature’s call (and approaching traffic, for my own longevity). The fluid silent motion of 5 Ladies dancing the Tai Chi flow at the local Library. The boring sounds of an auger digging deep holes into the earth, ready for the placement of fence posts. The whisper of a horse’s breath as he slowly sidles up to me, longing for attention or at least a quiet nuzzle. The vibrational cacophony of hammers pummelling tin, fitting a weather vane in place.
Blessed am I to experience life through all of my senses. I can’t imagine a life without breathing in and tasting the sound of visual fluid musical movement. And I am so grateful for all that I am entrusted with. Breathtaking gratitude. A blessing indeed.
The downpour continues, and with it, whistling gusting strong winds rocking our Airstream back and forth. Kinda scary considering that our trailer weighs around 10,000 pounds! With the choice of either puddle jumping or internet surfing, I chose the latter and spent a productive morning and afternoon doing what I love most: internet research and being a surf bunny. Of course, we found time to watch a movie (one I had gifted slaDE~ 3 years ago and never had found the time or motivation to watch before). A documentary of the life of RV Full-timers. Enjoyable, especially as the lifestyle which we once dreamed of is currently our reality! I felt it time that I did some home-country cooking, one that didn’t involve a stick or two of butter, as the Latimer’s lovingly tend to add to their tasty but decadent food-fare. It was to be a innovative concoction: tomato, chickpea and leak spinach soup made up in the Vita-Mix. Of course, never one to follow a recipe or duplicate a creation, I marvelled at the tastiness of this original proaction. RD cooked a lovely meal of fried and grilled Walleye fish. But no sooner were we ready to sit down to a fine meal when I decided to recall to Kara the bleating sounds of a baby goat that I had heard outside earlier. Following her intuition, Kara and slaDE hastened outside to the goat pens, searching for any new birthing activity, and there they discovered Mama Barbie goat in intense labour, already having birthed a glistening newborn. Sadly, the second baby goat had died during childbirth but the third bleating baby boy survived his right of passage. It was fascinating to witness the birth and death process. Quite touching to see Barbie trying to resurrect the dead baby, ignoring her first little live wonder (which happened to be shivering, nestled in muddy and bloody towels amidst the soppy ground beneath it). 25 minutes later, another sibling was born, transformed from a purple sack of fur and blood to a bleating cuddly creature with giant eyes and wobbly legs. Quite a miserable rainy cold night to be born, but glorious in that 2 out of the 3 babies had survived the elements. I didn’t have my camera on me and I was hesitant to leave the sanctuary of the tin shack which housed us from the wind and rain, surrounded by a mess pool of mud and manure. I however will not soon forget the visual wonders of my first goat births and death. The synergy and natural order of things was a sight and event to behold. Afterwards we watched a few fun movies ‘What Happens in Vegas‘ and ‘Step Brothers‘. Quite the opposite of the drama we had with the life and death of the goats.