There's poop on my porch.
One of my chickens ate eight eggs yesterday.
My new katahdin sheep escaped their pen and ran through the electric fence into another pasture.
My new puppy just ran under our car and shattered his femur.
Rosie, one of our ewes, is due this week with her first lambs. I'm terrified.
The to-do list is no less than 191,392 projects long.
…and yet, I sit here, evermore thankful that I get to experience this life – a life that is completely connected to the earth in the most beautiful, albeit frustrating, ways.
This past week, the littlest Elliott and I traveled together to California for an essential oil Leadership Retreat. Planes, trains, and automobiles allowed us to arrive at our destination in Southern California without too much discomfort, despite a belly full of bad food, dehydration, and sleepy eyes.
We were lucky enough to stay at a house with some dear friends. The house was a comfortable and fun stay (heck, there was even a banana tree outside my bedroom window!), complete with swimming pool, game room, California turf lawn, and luxurious foliage throughout the yard.
I began to envy California natives and their ability to harvest produce year round. Figs hung from bright green trees. Peppercorns dangled from branches. And did I mention the bananas?
Despite these beautiful additions to the California countryside, when I arrived back home to the farm Friday night, I took a deep breath of mountain air and realized this – this life right here – is where I belong.
Two little puppies chased our car up the road (that is, a few days before Loch decided to not only chase the car but actually run underneath it…). The sheep ran up to the fence line to say hello. Sally bellowed from down in her stable. Even the chickens seemed to greet me upon arrival, eagerly swarming to my feet (I've, unfortunately, got them in quite the bad habit by throwing out oats from a bin when I venture outside to gather eggs).
Even though I was only gone for a few days, the farm seemed to come alive while I was away. The chives and hops grew rapidly in the garden and the currant bush fully fleshed out in leaves. Aspen trees bloomed. Lambs ear exploded in the flower bed! It made this farmin' heart happy.
I sat on the couch, watched the sunset, and sipped a Cubano coffee.
Even despite the feed bag blowin' around the yard, the dog poop next to the front door that needed to be scooped up, the trumphet vine that Sally decided to eat, the broken fence, the crooked gate, the van and tractor that currently aren't running, and the ever present, looming feeling of being behind ALL THE TIME, this is still where I want to be.
Maybe it's the smell of sage bushes that dot the hillsides.
Maybe it's the blossoming apricot trees that are already vivid with pink and white.
Maybe it's the snaking trail of the Columbia River that runs through our valley.
Even more likely, it's the work that's involved with growing and loving our food, slaving to prepare that for my family, and sharing this lifestyle my bearded husband and a quiver full of little hearts and minds.
I think it's great some people can sit poolside, enjoy their Astroturf, and hang inside in their game room.
I just ain't one of those people.
I want dirt under my nails, chickens that jump in my truck door every time it's open, and a clutch of filthy children at the end of the day.
Home on the farm, baby. That's where this ‘ol gal belongs.