I Was Born To Be A Farmer – Paying Attention To The Distractions In Your Life

There are days where I think I have the attention span of a squirrel!

Seriously – I’m all set and on a mission, then suddenly I’m distracted by someone or something and I can do a complete 180.  Like when I head to Hobby Lobby for one particular item and suddenly find myself with more in my cart than I had intended.  Worse – when I get home, I add it to the growing pile of similar objects that have now been dubbed as “a collection”.   Have you ever noticed that?  Perhaps it’s a color you’re drawn to, or clocks, or fabric – but there’s a definite pull when they appear in your path.

Many of us do these things rather mindlessly, I’m sure until we either need to weed out too many white sweaters, a stack of journals or little fat bird figurines (not that I’d know anything about that).  No need for concern here – it’s not a hoarding issue, but I’m sure that this mindless collecting tells a deeper story.  I’m reminded of an encounter I had with an interior decorator I met years ago while making some updates to our home.

I remember meandering through the showroom sitting in several of the tastefully decorated little spaces….until I must have lingered a little too long.  In walked Mr. Interior Decorator.   He must have seen that the task at hand was overwhelming me, as I didn’t have a clue what I was looking for.  He gently sat on the seat beside me, with a smile on his face and cocked head.  I’m not sure, but I think my look of despair or mental overload was his queue to step in and save the day.

He began to ask me questions about the different selections I was drawn to, as it was obvious I didn’t have a style in mind (he may have gotten this idea from the 50 different styled chairs I sat in). I remember feeling a little embarrassed that I didn’t know much about style.  I had three kids at the time and quite frankly, my style really boiled down to hand-me-down chairs, press board tables, and a jelly spotted couch (throw in my 80’s hot pink bean bag chairs in the playroom and you’ve got yourself one big mess!).  Long story short, we chatted a bit and he gave me some really great advice without selling me anything.

My new found friend told me that the best way to find your style is to begin to pay attention to things you’re drawn to then study them to see what they share in common. When you begin to see a pattern, one way to determine if it’s just a trend or “your style” is to see what feeling it evokes inside.  If it brings you to a place of peace and comfort, you can almost guarantee that “your style” will be a fixture in your home for years to come.

I guess the same is true with life.  Sometimes, it takes years to figure out common patterns of behavior. When we recognize them, they become the building blocks in which we can learn more about ourselves and what makes us happy.

I recently used this concept when I began to see a pattern in my “distractions” while driving.  Whether here in my beautiful Hudson Valley of NY or on our many road trips, I find that my eyes (and mind) often drift off to another place. This is much more profound when I’m not driving!  I often ask my husband to stop so I can capture a view on camera that I just have to bring home with me.  After 34 years of marriage and hundreds of road trips, he simply pulls over now or turns around when he sees my neck has turned halfway around my head to stare at something.

A few weeks ago I shared my fetish of photographing doors and windows, but there’s another “collection” of travel pictures that I’m fond of taking.  Within my collection of travel pictures I revealed a bit of an obsession I have with farms… silos in particular.  Deep down there’s always a melancholy feeling as I pass one of these beautiful farms; melancholy because it’s always been my dream to own a farm.  Some people want to grow up to be a fireman, some a dancer, some a doctor.  I guess it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to say that I always envisioned myself living on a farm, working the land, surrounded by my family.

Growing up, my family spent many vacations on the sandy shores of New Jersey, but the most memorable was our trip to the Pennsylvania Dutch country.  I was about 10 years old and it was my first time lodging in an inn.  The inn sat at the edge of a working farm.  The experience of sharing a home with another family was new, but I remember thinking how cool it was.  Every morning, we rose to the sweet smell of biscuits and bacon filling the air.  We sat at one of the biggest tables I had ever seen and shared the most amazing breakfast with a bunch of other people.  After we cleared our dishes, I remember walking out the back door and being greeted by the family sheep – it was the softest thing I had ever felt.  My day was filled with watching cows get milked the old fashioned way and taking a peek at the horses as they exercised in a huge pool (a way to rehabilitate and condition them).

The feelings this vacation invoked in me were more than fond memories of a unique vacation, it was a love of a simpler life.  There were no distractions. I felt loved and safe and cared for.  I felt grateful.  I recognized so much beauty around me – simple beauty.

Life has a way of filling our days with distractions.  Pay attention to the patterns you find in your life and begin to recognize where they fit or IF they fit, and you too will find your style for a happy life.  I don’t have the barn or silo, but my dreams of working the earth on my own little homestead aren’t too far off.

I found this framed poem a couple of years ago in a local department store – it now hangs on our screen porch as a reminder that deep down, in another place and time, I was born to be a farmer.

It is what I know –

And what I love.  Up before the crack of dawn with a morning ritual that includes a strong cup of joe, a quick glance at the weather and always a check on the market because

I was born to be a FARMER.

It’s overlooking the beauty…

Of the earth and the smell of freshly tilled soil, entrusted to the vastness of what we call a field.  It’s watching and waiting to see all of those millions of little seeds start to sprout through the ground in rows as straight as a ruler, bringing great satisfaction, because

I was born to be a FARMER.

It’s having great faith…

As the storm comes in, knowing that the green, tender plants could be wiped out in a matter of seconds.  Or, when the rain simply doesn’t come and watching the plants wither until, at the last minute of almost losing hope, a rain cloud comes.  And the sky opens right at that moment, with just enough to get a little relief and a renewed faith because

I was born to be a FARMER.

It’s keeping up

With technology, realizing that it’s a sure necessity. But always looking back with the fondest of memories and great admiration of how Dad and Grandpa did things, because

I was born to be a FARMER.

It’s a partnership…

A working partnership with the good Lord Almighty.  Without Him, it could not be done.  It is His divine guidance that gets me through each season from planting to the harvest.  Through the storms and the drought, the highs, and the lows.  Some say it’s a gamble, but to me, it’s a way of life, because

I was born to be a FARMER.

By Marla Rae Anders

Sowing  Sunday living in a weekday world.

I hope you enjoyed your visit here today.  If you did, please share your thoughts in the comments below or share on social media using the hashtag #gardenerst

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s