Now that you know my dream, it is time to share some of the miracles or as others would say the “falling into place” that life can share when you are on your soul’s path.
I found myself pondering which raw cheese I was going to select at my favorite local co-op, when I ran into a young man who had interviewed me almost a year prior, for a general manager position with a non-profit food hub. I was not offered the position, which in hindsight I was grateful for. After the simple hellos I looked at him and asked, “Do you ever hire full time people for the farm?” He smiled and responded, “Yes we do, and actually soon we will be hiring people for the summer. We will need full time people starting in March.” A smile lit my face as I shared, “The kids and I have been making some life changes and I am wishing to gain experience in farming. I would love the opportunity to work on your farm.” He was kind enough to then introduce me to his father who had started the farm in 1988 with his wife, they began the venture for many of the same reasons I was presently pursuing such a path.
After a nice short conversation they encouraged me to come out to the farm to visit and we could discuss the job possibilities at that time. I told them that I would be in touch soon to set a date. I found this serendipity meeting to be a beautiful sign for me. I had just received notification that morning that I had the opportunity to interview for a position at the college library where I had worked when I went back to school full time in 2009 to finish my lifelong degree (that is another story – four universities, 28 years, and 247 credits). I was not excited about this interview; however it did feel nice to FINALLY get an interview. I knew that the job at the library would put me behind a desk all day long, that I would be working inside, and shuffling information would be my job description – ugh…yuck…another job that would take the life out of me!
As soon as I got home I replied to the library interview to set a date. I then set up the farm visit for the day after. I did not ask myself why I was doing it this way; I trusted my gut, which was telling me how important all of this was. As a side note, here is a link to one of my favorite articles about the “gut brain” an interesting read – http://philipshepherd.com/the-sun/.
Interview day number one arrived: I dressed myself up, drove to the library, parked and entered the known arena of Administrative Offices. I was greeted by an old friend I had worked with in the past at the front desk who then handed me off to my old boss, the main interviewer. Each interviewer on the panel introduced themselves and the litany of questions began, each person taking their rightful turn to inquire. I answered each question with sincere honesty as I gazed into the lack luster eyes of these women who had been living day in and day out behind these library doors. The bare wooden table sat between them and me. The walls were adorned with the perfect amount of pictures to look professional on the standard cream colored paint… I felt my heart cringing. In my brain I heard a small voice saying, “Can you really do this again? Can you live on a chair, at a desk, behind a computer for forty plus hours a week again?” Then it screamed at me, “Fawn this job will kill you!!”
I said my cordial thank you and walked out of the room, down the stairs, and as I pushed open the glass doors that led out onto the sunlit sidewalk I took in a very deep breath. I knew I would not get the job offer. I did not want the job offer. I could not do it again! I would not sell my soul for another pay check, I would not role model to my children that becoming the “walking dead” was the only choice I had!! Driving home I took in the busy streets, the people hurrying to be everywhere at once and yet truly going nowhere. I always marveled at how well humans followed the designated paths that society set out for them. Sadness pulled on my brain, hope stirred in my heart, and courage coursed through my veins as I navigated the multiple stop lights.
The next day found me donning my mustard gold Carhartt work pants, layering the shirts for the unpredictable early spring weather, and lacing up my old hiking boots; quite the contradiction from the day before. This felt good, this felt right, this had purpose attached to it. I settled into the car for the forty-five minute drive before me, taking in the changes as I left the bustling city to enter the rural farm lands. My body began to relax, a smile spread across my face as I took in the livestock I passed, my heart leapt with hope as I viewed small farm houses and pieces of land that curved naturally along waterways, and my mind eased its thinking to just BE.
Pulling up to the farm I took in the view around me. I listened to the sounds of the birds that swirled in mid air and I took in a deep breath of fresh crisp country air. Planting my feet on the dirt, I chuckled from within – no cement, no crosswalks, no passing people who would not look at me, the land breathed life back into me. Greeted by father and son I was given a farm tour. I absorbed all the smells, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme… all neatly tucked behind the safe walls of greenhouses. As we stood together chatting about the farm and why I wanted to work there, the wind kissed my cheeks and swirled my graying hair in a dance of possibilities. “I would like to work here, if you would have me,” I stated. “Would you like to start March 2nd at 8:00am?” the son replied. “Yes!!” I joyfully responded. We sealed this exchange with a solid handshake and eye contact, just like it used to be when I applied for jobs in my early twenties. This is the way it was supposed to be – human to human with respect, integrity, honesty, and trust. I liked these men and felt immense gratitude for the opportunity they were bestowing upon me.
As I drove home I danced with joy in my heart, singing loudly to an old John Denver CD that serenaded my spirit. At the edges of my psyche my cognitive brain clawed at me about the huge income loss with this job, and pecked at me about how I would be judged – “a farm hand, really??!!,” “Fawn how can you be so irresponsible to your family,” “You have a bachelors degree and you are going to pull weeds!” On the wind that snuck in through the barely open window I heard, “Farming like teaching is one of the noblest professions,” “You must stay true to your heart song,” “Don’t give up!”
My two amazing children greeted my news with high fives and hugs, all the while knowing we would be losing our home, and taking a big chance with this choice, each of us sacrificing in our own way.
I leave you today with a song that has recently inspired and comforted my journey. The ending lines I send to my children and all who wish to dance in the vibrancy of life!!!