Our Rural Roots

Count Your Blessings

(Meredith Bernard)

It's been said that in this life, you'll only be able to count your true friends on one hand, and in that, you'll be blessed. What about that? These days, it's nothing to have thousands of friends, and in the same breath, we can "friend" and "unfriend" daily with a click. It's almost as if friendship has become as consumeristic as shopping for a new car, which can be appealing, especially if you're lacking in the "real" friend department. I know because I've been there.

I can't speak for you, but I can speak for me and many other rural women I've met who admit that cultivating friendships can be hard. Some of us live 30 miles from the nearest town. Some of us live close to town but don't know anyone like us who "gets" what farm and ranch life is like. It can be isolating and rob us of true friendships -- but only if we let it. I know because I've let it. But I've also learned a few things.

You can find true friendship online. My best friend lives in Nebraska, and without the internet, we would have never met or had the opportunity to interact daily. There is nothing wrong with plugging into groups online with like-minded people and building friendships. Then, the sweetest days are when you get to meet in real life. I've also learned that there's nothing wrong with stepping out of our comfort zones and making friends we can see on a regular basis. Have lunch with. Comfort, console, celebrate and cheer with. In real life.

"Yeah, Meredith, but I can't find them." Open your eyes and your heart, and they'll find you. Church. School. Work. People are all around us, and when we open our lives to someone whose life is different than ours, we not only get to share the beauty of this rural life we love, we find common ground. And, another blessing to count.


-- Meredith Bernard writes and tends to farm, family and friends from North Carolina. Follow her on social media @thisfarmwife and on her website at https://thisfarmwife.com/…