Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Saying Hello from the Past


My Great-Grandparents and my Grandparents lived and worked on this piece of Kentucky ground I now reside upon.  It is evident every day that this is their farm.  I merely take care of it, honoring their years of labor and love of the land.

My Grandpa used to say he wanted to be buried in his tobacco field, so when he passed they just   "set the fence back" at the church cemetery that is on the corner of the farm. He got his request.  I often look over, when I walk the front three acre field next to their final resting place, and talk to my grandparents or pay homage to their memory. 

There are constant reminders of their presence here at the farm.  My barn is at least 100 years old and even though it is now an obsolete tobacco barn, it has worked for our sheep, goat, chickens and horses. To me, however it is more than just a functional barn to house the hay and animals, it is a piece of history that I am blessed to still be a part. We did quite a bit of work to save the grand structure and keep it looking as original as possible.   Despite advice to "build something more functional and practical", the sentimentality surrounding the barn prevented me from replacing it.
"My barn" has worn wooden turn knobs from years of use by hard-working hands. The rise of the barn loft steps are made for a six foot plus stride.  Each time I walk those steps, it is as if Grandpa says Hello. As spring arrives, I notice daffodils planted decades ago booming near where the old house stood, or behind where the original cabin was located.  Grandma saying Hello.   
I found a letter among the things in the old house written by my grandmother.  It said she always wanted the farm to be productive.  As I go about my daily chores and the myriad of other duties as wife, mother, business owner etc.  I think of those words.  They were written by a woman with a deep faith in Jesus.  Jesus also calls us to be doers....of the word and not to have idle hands.   As I plan my day, week and future I am reminded that those who have gone before have so much to teach us.  I am reminded that it is good to take stock of how we are using our time.   I am reminded to guard against squandering the blessings I enjoy.  I am reminded to be productive not only in my temporal activities but also in those that will have an eternal consequence. 
In our efforts to be productive,
what can we leave for those who will come after us
to make a difference in  their future?