Our Rural Roots

Indulge in Simple Pleasures

On hard days, look to find the good, like taking time to pick blackberries to make a homemade cobbler for dessert. (DTN/Progressive Farmer photo by Meredith Bernard)

On our farm, change is one constant I can count on. It takes on many forms -- the weather not cooperating, animals getting sick, equipment breaking down, water rising too high, crops failing or simply plans that need altering on the fly. Most are challenges we don't necessarily want to deal with, but we are forced to overcome.

On the hard days, we do our best to remind ourselves to find the good, because it is almost always within reach. Other times, we have to look hard and be more creative in finding silver linings.

Our kids aren't exempt from our trials, and we don't hide them from it. We have tried to show our children how we adapt and overcome together.

It may mean a day in the heat fixing a fence we lost to flooding and taking time to cool off in the river afterward. It may mean missing out on events because we are in the hayfield, then taking time to pick blackberries so we can enjoy homemade cobbler for dessert.

This grounding seems more important in these days of confusion and conflict. All I know to buffer the current confusion is to teach that there is promise in every sunrise, joy in every silly joke-induced laugh, peace in every ride through the pasture, beauty in every flower blooming and delight in every bird singing.

These days, I'm more thoughtful about the solitude in every sip of coffee on a quiet morning porch. I'm giving thanks for every meal shared around our well-loved kitchen table. I have more gratitude for our health, family, farm and friends.

Simple pleasures are a gift we need to unwrap more often. Wake-up calls to take time to notice, to soak in and savor what's truly good around us, create the best change of all: those that come from the inside, out.


Editor's Note: Blogger Meredith Bernard writes, takes photographs and ponders ways of life and agriculture from her North Carolina family farm. Follow her on Twitter @thisfarmwife, and visit her website at thisfarmwife.com.