I know it's been several days since posting, but I think that's because I haven't been very motivated to write about farms. Why you might ask?
Well, yesterday I attended a funeral for somebody I didn't know but who indirectly has always been a part of my life. First off, it's a very sad story, the man who passed away was only 44 years old (only a year younger than LA Farm "Girl," yikes) and was full of life and love for his family and community, and he died on New Year's Eve.
While I didn't know him, I know his mother and I know his brother, and apparently I did know him when I was a little girl because his mother has lived on the same street for the past 39 years, the street where I lived until my parents divorced and we moved away when I was starting the 4th grade.
But, when I grew up, I came back to my "hometown" and I now live in the house next to my parent's old house and I had the opportunity to "re-meet" this woman several years ago and we developed a new bond and an adult friendship.
This has been one of the nicest parts about returning to my roots, reconnecting or rediscovering people I knew when I was very young. But, it's also brought about some sadness for me, something I never really thought about when I decided to return to my hometown.
Instead of feeling connected to the past, it makes me feel disconnected and I feel a sense of loss because I was so young when I left. I don't remember people, and I just sort of stare blankly as they reminisce about things that happened and I feel left out when they talk about things that happened once I left.
It even connects to my farm writing at times, especially the book I am writing on our farm history, as they look at me incredulously while saying things like "well don't you remember the pig farm at such and such," or "the dairy on so and so."
So, it got me to thinking, can you really go home again? I mean, the place is familiar, comforting and feels natural to you in so many ways, but is it really "home" when you feel like an outsider there?
It’s interesting what funerals can do to us; it hits on emotions and feelings we don't usually think about. I mean, I am a very active member of my community and have so many connections here; it's odd that this has made me feel that way.
But, it's also made me realize yet again, how precious and short life is and that I have to be true to who I am and pursue my passion no matter how hard it seems at times.
There are so many things I want to do to help our farmers, to promote sustainable food systems. For example, I am even thinking of starting my own Victory Garden Network for urban farmers and backyard gardeners to connect and to find ways to get excess produce to those who need and want it. More on that later.