The "Real" Farm

Spring in Missouri is dangerous for me. A visit to the creek when it is running full and everything around is buzzing with life. Little baby corn popping up in chocolate fields. Leaves on deciduous trees turning with the rain that you can't see is coming. Birds chasing each other through a carpet of close cut grass that bleeds right into a very full pond. Fish jumping. Clouds cruising by. The smell of dirt, grass, trees, wind that has blown half-way across a country to reach you.

It's intoxicating. It lures me in and makes me day-dream of a little house beyond the field. A little house tucked into the woods, just by the third pond, close to the fourth pond that was always my favorite. Laying in the grass, looking up at a perfectly clear, cornflower blue sky. Building fairy houses by the "waterfall" that isn't really a waterfall anymore. The unplanted fields make me hungry, remind me of chunky cookie dough. Part of me finally feels at peace, part of me feels planted on the bank above the water in this pregnant landscape.

But then there's farm business and I'm ready to throw in the towel, ready to run toward the sea, ready to say, "I know I'm not the first born son." I am just a girl. A girl with a garden of her own. A garden I now ache to return to, to shelter in. I have memories of tractors I picked out that my brother opened for Christmas as I walk my nephew to the garage on his motorized toy tractor. Cycles of life, cycles of farm management. I have a garden that I have bought with my wife. I have a garden that is mine. I will plant myself there.

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