Friends have a way of knowing exactly when you need to hear something, whether they realize it or not. This Sunday, Tessa, from Lautzenheiser Farms, wrote a blog post that really stuck with me this week. She wrote about being at peace in her garden. At first I thought to myself that yes, my garden was definitely a peaceful place and I could certainly get lost in thought there for hours. As I thought some more about places I found peace, I drifted back to when I was a kid on my grandpa’s farm. Every time the doors to his old bank barn opened and I was allowed inside it was like I entered a new world. I could smell the gentle scent of cattle below mixed with the sweet fragrance of hay. It was one of my favorite places to be on the farm.
Not long before grandpa passed away we had moved to a new house that sat next to beautiful old horse barn. As I struggled through my middle and high school years, it became a refuge. Whether I was brushing down one of the horses because they seemed to understand me when the other kids at school most definitely did not or hiding in the hay loft or cleaning stalls because I didn’t want to talk to my parents. I spent hours talking to God and, after grandpa died, talking to him. It seemed that maybe they could hear me a little better there. I loved being in the barn. I am eternally thankful that we had extremely tolerant neighbors who didn’t mind my presence. It seemed that there wasn’t anything I was going through that those old boards couldn’t handle nor that a gentle nudge from one of the horses couldn’t fix.
When we began to clean out the bank barn on the farm this winter, I began to feel that same sense of peace when I walked through the doors. When I would watch the dust dancing in the light that gently filtered through the gaps in the boards or hold my little dog close as we both shivered from winter’s chill I felt it. When I sit in my chicken barn and watch my birds scuttling around the floor glaring at me from the side of their eye while they skeptically peck at a treat I brought them I feel it. It is sense of peace that I can’t replace anywhere else. My heart is content being surrounded by the smell of livestock and hay, by the dust that gathers from decades of use, by the wood that was so meticulously crafted, by the chaos of animals and by the calm of solitude. Perhaps instead of being raised in a barn, it took many barns to raise me.
I found my peaceful place on the wood slats of an old barn floor, Tessa found hers in her garden. Take some time this week to reflect on where you feel truly at peace. If you haven’t found that place yet, keep looking. If you have a place where you feel at peace, spend some time there this week. I guarantee it will make your whole week seem a whole lot more… well, peaceful.