I grew up with lots of land to roam around on. My parents, aunt and uncle, and grandparents shared 9 acres, which backed up to a forest preserve with trails and a pond. We had a TV, and although I watched my fair share, I played outside a whole lot. I went outside to be imaginative. I went outside to live out stories and be adventurous. I knew no one was watching. I had all the privacy I could ever want – and I totally took it all for granted. I had no idea what I was enjoying.
Living here on the farm has reminded me how precious that “being alone outside” time was for me. I had enough friendships to keep me busy, but I also had the unique option of playing alone – outside – far away from prying eyes, yet perfectly safe. What did that give me?
A wonderfully full imagination.
Time to think and dream in nature.
Lots of secret places and hide outs.
Fence post horses.
3 wheeling adventures (before 3 wheelers where dangerous and forbidden).
An old Conestoga wagon for transportation to any fanciful destination.
Walks in the woods with my grandpa.
The joy of swinging and singing at the top of my lungs without fear of anyone hearing me.
Long talks with dogs, pigs, donkeys, and cats, stretched out on our huge lawn.
OK, also, many, many hours of pushing lawnmowers.
Until now, we’ve always lived in “neighborhoods,” with little patches of lawn and lots of people all around. We probably will again – unless the Lord intervenes and drops a farm into our lap. In which case, we will all jump for joy and empty the Humane Society of all its current tenants. For now, he’s dropped someone else’s farm into our laps, and we are enjoying it so, so, much.
If I have my way though, we won’t let go of this kind of life. The joy of sending the kids out to play knowing they are safe, far away from even friends, and using nothing but their little noggins for dreaming up fun and adventure, is precious to me.
Did you hear that Lord? I’m GRATEFUL. I’m THANKFUL. I’m CONTENT. Call a meeting of all the angels and let the Hallelujahs begin. I get it. You love me. You planned this for me. It has reminded me. It has blessed me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.