Last week a friend and I were out for a walk, looking for newly arrived warblers, when a car drew up to us and stopped. We recognized a couple that live down at the end of our road. The driver leaned forward intently and asked if it was true. What is the “it” I asked him back. He said he had heard we had put Amen Farm up for sale. I was stunned and assured him that it was not the least bit true. He couldn’t remember who had told him, but he said the news was going around.
I realize that while there are many wonderful things about living in a small town, there are some drawbacks and for sure one of them is the rumor mill.
At first I was just surprised, but as the days have passed the surprise has morphed into an ache. Why would anyone want to start a rumor like that? What would make anyone think we would want to move when our whole family has never been happier to live just where we live. It isn’t a big farm, and it surely isn’t fancy, and yes, the barn needs repainting, and I am not the best housekeeper in the world, but it is our home and we love it dearly.
Home. That rumor shook the ground of me. That’s what this ache is about. I have lived in Washington DC, New York City, Lakeville, and Sharon, Connecticut, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Markham, Virginia. And while we enjoyed all of these places, it wasn’t until we moved to Brooklin, Maine that I could honestly say I was home. I felt it the morning we arrived. We had driven fifteen hours straight to get here to meet the movers. Exhausted, we pulled into the driveway at 4:30 am in time to see the sun rising over the bay and the mountains beyond. And I felt my heart settle as never before.
We have watched that sun rise over the bay now for many years, and it never gets old. There is hardly a day goes by that one of us doesn’t call the other over to be awed by its magnificence. We tell the seasons by where the sun rises. In the winter, it hides behind the trees and we don’t see it until it is high in the sky. But then it begins to travel slowly across the sky northward, and by the summer solstice it rises way to the left of the trees over the mountains. I have been caught more than once in my pajamas camera in hand trying to capture the sunrise.
Just this year, we took down some fences in the front and back yard that had begun to rot and thought we might replace them only to discover we were so much happier without them. And even more to the point, the fences had been put up by the previous owner and in taking them down, we felt we were making one more change that marked it as our home.
I want to absorb every minute of this beautiful spring and not give another thought to that rumor. There are seventy plus lilac bushes about to burst into bloom. Every color you can imagine; lavender, purple, magenta, white, and pink. The previous owner, a master gardener, had them all planted, and I am so grateful. Lilac is one of my most favorite flowers. He had wanted to find a yellow lilac but had not been able to do so before he died. Now I am on the hunt for one and we will plant that soon.
From where I am standing, I can see chickens sunning in the front paddock while the goats are cavorting and filling themselves full of the new grass in the field. The cat is on vole patrol, thank you, thank you, Servie. The number of new holes in the lawn after this hard winter is a little disturbing. Then again, as my husband keeps saying, every animal who has has managed to survive the cold and the snow should be given a medal of honor.
When I protest that the porcupine who has wandered into the back terrace and put our dog, Wesley, in grave danger of being quilled is a menace and should be transported elsewhere, Robert applauds him as he waddles off into the woods.
A mama bear and her three cubs have been sighted at our neighbors and just yesterday we saw the eagle soaring over the bay hunting for some dinner for the eaglets. There is new life everywhere.
How blessed we are to live among these creatures. They show me that I can survive rumors and all kinds of weather. That wonder and awe are the salve for whatever ails me.