it seems people’s biggest fears about the rural life stem around the issue of “isolation”. it is true, we live much farther away from our nearest neighbor than our urban counterparts.we live even farther away from our closest friends, some dear family and most of our like minded peers. we are however far from isolated, why you ask, because for some reason, people flock to this place.
they come for so many reasons it would be hard to name them all. people land here for learning and for resting. they live with us for a short while or nearly a year. visits are often in the summer, but winter on the farm has attracted quite a few. our reasons for hosting are as numerous as our guests: we welcome school groups here because long ago we were asked if we could provide this experience. we invite apprentices to learn with us because we feel it necessary to share what we have learned. japan, france, australia, canada, germany, and most states of the union have all been represented in the hollow. all ages, all types; children and retired all learn something here: farm life transforms everyone that lives it, if only for a day.
for us, we love to host, this time of year the farm is always full of life. the freedom of summer allows folks to come in so many ways: they come to work and fish and play in the creek and breathe deeply.
this is a place where you can escape the pressures of your own life and embrace a rhythm defined by the rising and falling sun, the daily chores and the weather. it’s uncomfortable: you get bites in unthinkable places by unidentifiable bugs, you will be hot, sticky, tired, sunburnt, and more. but it is satisfying, to fill your belly on farm raised food at the start and end of a hard working day, it changes you, it feeds your body and soul: it is good for everyone.
when we first met mel he was designing his camper. he would have a self made mobile home, perfect to house him as he moves about to satisfy his wanderlust. i am not sure any of us knew then he would be back, years later, with his wife setting up a temporary home along the creek in that very camper. right now, the camper is being readied to keep these two comfortable as they envision the next spot to settle, another step on their journey. it is an honor to have them starting here.
this week also we get to watch another rite of passage unfold: the farm camp. these visits are special indeed. you see, the young friends that arrive on the farm solo and integrate into our farm family life are rare. for now, our farm camp is only for those we have known for many many years. sasha’s best buddy is here this week. these teens have been friends since toddlerhood, i know this week together will be steeped with adventure and meaning for all of us.
the days ahead will be full to the brim with chanterelles and blueberry pies and guests. we will be busy and excited and most definitely not alone. isolation in rural life might be a possibility, but not here, not now.