Roses in bloom, yesterday, in the gardens at Stringtown Rising Farm.
It looks as if, finally, Stringtown Rising is about to change hands. (Hallelujah.) I went out there yesterday to check on things. It’s only about 10 or 12 miles away, but I haven’t been there in over a year. I just didn’t want to go there. I wasn’t sure how I would feel if I did. I have a lot of mixed emotions about that farm and the house….and, well, everything.
It’s always a strange feeling when you return, at some point down the road after you’ve been gone a long time, to a place that meant a lot to you. I was nervous before I went to my mom’s house this summer when I was in Texas. I hadn’t been there since she died. But the house has been redecorated and things are different. It didn’t feel like my mom’s house anymore, and stepping inside the house had felt bigger in my mind than it was in reality. It wasn’t upsetting. Several years ago, I went back to the house in Texas where we lived when all the kids were born. It was the same–but it was different. The new owners weren’t home and I looked in all the windows. (Yeah, that’s me, a window peeper.) The house had been remodeled–and in fact, it looked beautiful. The gardens around the house had been changed, and my favorite rose bush had been removed. (What?!) It wasn’t my house anymore. It was interesting to see it again, once, but I didn’t have the reaction I thought I might have, and it was okay.
Stringtown Rising is quite overgrown–somebody needs to put some animals on the fields, or get to brush hogging. The roof was caved in on BP’s milk stand. But, overall, it was fine, “washed clean” in a way by the fields growing up and some of the small outbuildings going down. The house looked….empty. Not like my house. It’s not mine anymore–it’s not the farm it was when I was living there. It’s ready to be somebody else’s. And I’m ready for it to be somebody else’s, too. It wasn’t meant to be mine forever. It was just something I was meant to survive. I felt no need to linger. I got back in my car and drove home to my present, and my future, with no sense of regret or loss.
There are always places in our lives that mean more, for one reason or another, than other places. But that meaning isn’t in the place itself. It’s in what we take away from it with us, in our spirits, our hearts, our minds.
It’s in the moving on, not the hanging on, that we bloom.