I moved here to God’s Whisper Farm five months ago today. In that time, we have cleared the land from grass over my head. We have opened up the pasture so that we can have goats. We have begun clearing the driveway up to the timberframe lodge. We have made great progress.
Yesterday, Dad planted nandina and other perennials around my front steps, and for the first time since I moved in, I thought “Ah, yes, now we are building, not just cleaning.” Over six months from my closing . . . it’s been a long time coming, that feeling . . . and we still have a long way to go.
It’s easy to get discouraged when something seems long and arduous. It’s really easy to give up, especially in our culture that wants instant gratification and minute by minute results. We want responses to our emails within the hour; we want our diets to help us drop pounds in weeks; we want our novels and memoirs to be written in just months.
This desire for “instant” leads us to expect that everything from how to raise goats to how to write a memoir can come in “ten easy steps.” Yet, writing and farming have taught me something completely different – the things worth doing don’t come easy but they feel right, even when they are hard. When we do the things we are made to do – even in the face of fear or opposition or a long, long struggle – our work “bears fruit” that other people appreciate. We may not even know how to do something when we start – seriously, I have to shape goat hooves? Really? – but if we can see past the “hard” and “scary” and seek that place in ourselves that is the most true, we find that life and growth are in those hard things and that they help us become more and more who we were made to be.
Later today, I will be ordering wildflowers, vegetable seeds, and fruit tree saplings to plant here. Come April, the hills will be alive (yes, picture Meander as Julie Andrews) with color; the snow peas will crunch against my teeth. The tiny green of fig leaves will just be unfurling. But first, the hard work of tilling and digging that will – in time – be all the more worth it. Do I look forward to all that digging? Um, no. Yet, three years down the road, when I can bite into the soft, tart sweetness of a fig I grew, I will forget that 3 years have passed, and I’ll just savor.
What have you given up on because it was “too hard?” What challenges have you pushed through to find that savoring spot?