It pretty much encompassed everything I loved about where I grew up.
The peaceful stillness of the night, the cicadas(before they became a mutant invasion) in the evenings.
It was where my mind was at peace and my heart was at home.
I would always bring my friends out and show them the dairy.
...Granted I had no clue what I was showing them at the time, but they were always in awe of the enormous amount of poo produced in just one day by all the cows.
I showed it off, told them things
Then we would go climb the mountains of commodities(soybean mean, distillers, hominy) like it was sand to play in.
When I got a little older the farm became, well, not so cool.
It was still something that set me apart from the crowd.
I was the "cowgirl", or "farm girl" and was proud of it...when it was convenient.
I would think about all of my friends, and how they lived close to one another in subdivisions.
They could easily hang out, or meet up at the movies.
I felt like I sort of fell off the map on the weekends, not to resurface again until Monday morning at 8.
After high school, the farm became even more of a "convenience" to me.
Sure my siblings and I still showed cows, which we truly enjoyed, but I was still very much disconnected from the foundation of the farm.
It was during a turning point in my life that I realized what this place meant to me.
It seems like when you have no place to go, you start looking around at what built you.
You can feel the dirt, see the roots and smell the freedom of your rebirth.
You begin to put the puzzle together, and learn who you are.
I can walk outside into the middle of a field, so open and wide, and I have never felt more embraced.
This farm, this place, it envelopes you and slows everything down.
The world stands still, and the fast pace and noise from the city, seem worlds away.
I owe my life to this farm, and I try to give it my all each day.
It knows me.
The winds whips through me, and I have never been so honest in my life.
Chuck and I are looking, always looking, for a house to live in when we get married.
We just want a place to raise a family, and feel safe.
I cannot begin to describe the kind of home I want.
It's not a picture, or a number of square feet.
It's a feeling.
If I have learned anything, it's that home is important.
If there is any one thing I want for my future family, it's for them to know where they belong.