I did it, I stood at the foot of the waves with the wind on my face and the salt on my lips and breathed deep of the ocean. I watched our children take in the enormity of each new wave as it crashed onto the sandy shoreline. I tried to etch in my memory their enjoyment at catching sand crabs and midnight walks along the beach. I drank in the sun glistening off the ocean so vast and so deep, as we arose early one morning to watch the sun rise on the Atlantic Ocean. It may seem like a funny thing to share on a farm blog, but this October saw this farm girl get back to her roots (well sort of, kind of). You see I grew up by the North Sea and many a day was spent walking along the beach (not quite so warm as it was here) listening to the waves crash to the shore. In fact, sometimes at night if my mind is full of outside noise and the stresses of life, I've been known to play the sounds of the ocean, lulling me back to a peaceful place. We managed to get a way as a family in October, due to the kind heartedness of a dear friend who kindly farm sat for us. It wasn't quite the vacation we had anticipated, and to cut a long story short, our well planned out vacation by a lake in Georgia, became a fly by the seat of your pants end of vacation by the ocean in Virginia Beach.
As I sat one morning, alone in my thoughts I couldn't believe the raw emotion that arose to the surface as the sun began to rise, the light of which hit the crest of the waves in an almost magical effect. I sat there drinking in the beauty of it all, but it was the sound the sound of the waves that took me back to a place I'd been before. My family, the beach, time together..... oh how I missed my family overseas that morning. I love where I am, I love the amazing husband that I have been blessed to live life with and couldn't ask for more than the four wonderful children we have, but sometimes a heart longs to be able to sit and chat over a cup of tea with loved ones far away. I'm not too sure why I'm writing this today. Maybe someone will read this who recently lost a loved one and that chance has been taken seemingly all too soon. The void can seem so deep, the reality can hit like a wave when you least expect it; knocking down sandcastles in its wake, trying to rob you of memories and wipe the slate clean.
Memories.... as I continued on my walk along the promenade that morning, I saw a young gentleman kneel down to take a photo of his family. The delight on the children's faces as they sat in their pajamas, watching the sun rise, and as they opened up a box to donuts that must have seemed as big as elephant ears in their childlike eyes. It was in that instant that I found myself offering to take a photo of the whole family. Found myself commenting on how I loved the fact that they were making memories. Sometimes I'm asked, and if I'm honest, I've asked myself, why we choose to live the way we do. Cold winter nights trekking through the snow to check on the animals. Being chased by ornery bucks, pecked by Tom turkeys, and getting between a mother hen and her young. Then I remember the memories we are making; of midnight treks to the barn to see baby goats being born. Of a call from a neighboring farm to see if we would take in abandoned piglets, and our girls bottle feeding them round the clock only to see them thrive and overcome. Of calves brought into the basement to rest and recuperate. Not all memories, of course, are as good as these, farm life brings with it the death of an animal, the harsh winter treks and numerous other things. However, that is life. Some memories take us back to a place we'd love to camp out and enjoy, others to a place we'd rather bury and move on.
Whilst we were away our farm was once again making memories as two does gave birth to four beautiful goat kids. Life has a way of making memories whether we want it to or not, some good, some bad, and some we would gladly forget. Today, with all that seems to be going on around us, the news that we hear from overseas, wars, famine, political unrest and so much more, it is sometimes hard to see and enjoy the small and seemingly insignificant things.
Maybe, just maybe you need to here today that it is okay to make memories, maybe those memories will look a lot different than they were meant to be, maybe those memories will be missing the faces of loved ones we've had to say goodbye too. Maybe they are in a geographical place we never imagined they would be. Maybe they are far from loved ones we'd long to hold close, but memories they are the same.
I know that we have our children, but for the blink of an eye, one day they are small and so dependent. It is enough to open up a box of donuts and be delighted by its contents. The next they are testing their wings, ready to take flight, a driver's license in hand and a job at their side. Memories........