I love long walks back on the farm. I love the fresh air and exercise. I love the music of water tumbling over stones in the creek bed. I love the plash of surprised turtles plopping off their sunning logs into the pond, the kree! of a hawk circling overhead, the booming voices of the owls as evening closes in. I love the smell of dank leaves and sun-baked grass and the wholesome earthiness of the cows.

Over the years, the kids and I have given names to various locations on the farm. The Three Sisters, three great hills on the very back of the farm, connected by a narrow spine. Narnia, a dense grove of beech trees that shimmer like gold in the fall. The Robin Hood tree, the Great Hall, the Cowboy Hideout, the Finger, the Giant’s Thimble.

The Three Sisters sleep snug under eons-old turf, waiting for the trumpet blast that will one day wake them up to dance.

“Mom, we are going to climb the Robin Hood tree.” Sounds so much more romantic than, “Mom, we’re walking back to the big sycamore tree in the back hay pasture next to Mr. S—‘s corn field.”

I love long walks back on the farm – by myself, with my kids, with a friend…and nowadays, with the grandkids. The hills and the trees and the gurgling creek tell a beautiful story. Best of all, they welcome us in and let us be part of the story, too.

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