Some journeys are longer than they are. The road from my door to the farmhouse door is some forty miles, but it always takes me so much further.
Yesterday evening, the kids and I drove down to the farm for an extended Memorial Day weekend. I’ve written often about this place before — almost every time we come here, I guess. It’s a plot of modest acreage in Noxubee County where my mother was raised. Only forty miles, but as I said, some journeys are longer than they are.
The farm and I go way back. For me, it has always been a place that symbolizes simplicity — simple times, simple fun, simple experiences. Life more easily boils down to what matters in this place. At least what matters to me. My largest experience with the farm has been in unscheduled days. The days punctuated only by our own whims, or by the rest from having fully enjoyed them.
When I was a child, we sat in metal lawn chairs under the canopy of a huge pecan tree in the backyard. We drove to town to talk to Grandaddy’s friends over a Nu-Grape and a package of salted peanuts. We mixed up pecan pies with white Karo and butter. Forking the crust was my job. We watched Lawrence Welk on ETV with the ladies dancing in their cotton candy-colored long ruffled dresses. We laughed with Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show as he entertained his guests. The best moments were always when he couldn’t keep himself from laughing. Like us.
Back then, we only had four channels for entertainment. Plus the sunshine. The pasture. The Nu-Grape and peanuts. The pecan pie.
Now the farm still draws us into simpler notions even though we come armed with DVDs, Nintendo games and iPads. We get more channels. We bring more channels. But, we don’t need them. The sun and the water hoses and the walks on the road seem to have a stronger pull. And the laughter. The funniest moments are when we can’t keep ourselves from laughing. Still.
The farm pulls us simply to do what we want to do without the distraction of other obligations. We immerse ourselves in our own thoughts and our own whims. It’s a luxury of freedom that, perhaps, isn’t appropriate most of the time, but becomes necessary at least sometimes.
My heart undergoes a transition when I’m preparing to visit the farm. Tangibly, I begin rearranging and recording the calendars and task lists of work activities so that the joy in doing what I love emerges again. And in so doing, the freedom to leave it unattended without worry emerges. It’s my own process to move myself toward simple, to shed the projects and schedules and bills that circumvent my thinking. As I pack our pajamas and bathing suits, I begin to peel away the burdens that sometimes hijack my whims and the desire to chase them. The place of simplicity calls when my spirit needs to lay down those burdens of stress and worry and frustration crowding my joy in simple things. Simple experiences. Simple places. Stress is a serious problem if you don´t control it on time, you can visit this site to find a simple way of doing it.
The journey to simplicity is often longer than it is.
It’s the distance between schedules and whims. Between crowded and joyful. It’s the distance from on to off, between closing the laptop and opening the book. Between “when I have time” and “yes, right now.” It takes us further than we expected.