we are complex beings with a multitude of needs. all of us. for me, the farm life satisfies so many of those: my personal desire for fresh air and water, my often called bizarre love of demanding physical work, my goal of simple living and the hope that i can raise my children with useful life skills. alas, i am also quite a social being, an extrovert even, perhaps those that know me will agree, so i have a big ole list of social needs as well. many of us meet our desires for human connection with friends, family and acquaintances. some align with us politically, others share similar parenting philosophies, more still are engaged in the same occupation, we connect in so many ways. the rural life poses some problems. distances are long, opportunities limited. i have discovered over the years that in busy times, i forfeit chances for restorative social time with like-minded folks and chose instead sleep or work or other must dos.
alas, this weekend, we changed our usual course. instead of the 14 hour round trip delivery day with my oldest caring for the farm with one apprentice, we left our capable team to tend the homestead and loaded the whole family into the van for market day plus sleep over. we have some dear family friends in nashville. these are rare finds indeed. you know adults that all love each other and the kids each with a perfectly matched buddy. a weekend with these folks is reason enough to celebrate, but we had an even more enticing treat. some other “new friends” were hosting a house-warming and they invited us to dinner.
the older children were left with their own plans for fun and we adults, along with william, headed to the most delightful urban owner built home. we gathered on the just finished screened in dining porch with 4 amazing couples, perfectly prepared cocktails, and the twilight of our longest workday. the combination of new friends and old, a toddler that slept for 4 1/2 hours, and impeccably prepared fare made for a night of socialization far more nourishing than even sleep. my final snipets of conversation as we prepared to head away reminded me to tend to my social needs. we have to care for our emotional well being just as we do our physical. “we need to conect with like minded people, remember it is therapeutic to relate with people that are going through the same phases you are”.
i am tired today, this is true, i stayed up late and awoke too early in an unfamiliar bed. now, back on the farm with a good night’s sleep not long off, i can revisit the converstaions of yesterday. i can still hear the laughter ringing as we shared our stories with new friends, i can still taste the fine meal served perfectly amongst friends. as my busy season rapidly approaches, i hope to hold yesterday’s lessons close: make time for friends, fun and laughter.