One of the joys of the last couple of months has been visits from friends who have yet to spend time on our new farm. The adults are complimentary, which is always enjoyed, but it is the reactions of the children that really enchant me. They collect eggs like each one is made of gold, a special treasure to discover and show off, they are right of course. They realise the pigs are much bigger and dirtier than perhaps they had expected, but delight in hosing them down on a hot day just as we do. They hold chicks with excitement and a little fear, feeling what it is to hold a tiny life in your own hand; a feeling we parents are familiar with.
It can be easy to forget how recently this world became our day-to-day, when I remind Huwyl that not everyone has regular access to baby chicks he looks at me a bit puzzled, even though we’ve only had our own since last summer. To him that is forever, his reality is collecting eggs every day, surrounded by fields and regular visits to the veg patch by Mum or Dad for at least part of dinner.
In the daily hustle and work of the farm the outer world, and the world before this, can become a little hazy. This now possesses so much of our thinking I sometimes wonder how we kept ourselves occupied before this. But hearing my friend’s beautiful girl saying (extremely firmly) “Mummy I want to live on a farm. I want to live on a farm tomorrow” reminds me that we have landed somewhere wonderful. It is work, every day and forever, but what it yields is more than just vegetables or meat, more than the sum of its parts. I don’t even know what to call it, but I know I’m happy to be here. I’m even more happy to share it all with friends.