I always wanted to raise my kids on acres of land. We’d plant gardens, have horses, swim in the lake or river on our property, and have friends over all the time. It would be a real community and a place that I could pass down to them someday, a real legacy.
Instead, we live in the city on a very small lot. No acres of land, no horses, and no lake or river to swim in. Due to a plethora of complex issues we have decided not to move away from where we are now.
To be honest, I still dream about the “farm fantasy” and can sometimes spend a fair amount of time looking at real estate listings. I dream of beautiful views, more connection with the natural world, and harvesting and canning lots of tomatoes.
But the thing is, when I’m always dreaming, I miss out on what’s happening here and now.
It’s been hard for me to come to terms with this, but I have learned to create part of my “farm fantasy” here.
Instead of views of forests and mountains, we have created a beautiful green sanctuary on our porch. We have views of the red flowering currant bushes that we planted years ago. The other day I watched a family of red-breasted nuthatches, the parent feeding the fledglings, and listened to the incessant begging calls right from my porch.
We do have tomatoes and lots of other veggies growing in our garden and try to get out camping and to visit beautiful places as often as we can, especially those with swimming holes.
My point is that while I’m still working on making the dream happen, another thing is happening now, and that is life. I don’t want to let it pass me by while I’m looking to be somewhere else. I have to learn to work on the bigger dream in the smallest of ways. My value of appreciating and sharing nature with my kids is still happening even though it doesn’t look like I thought it would.
By creating everyday life experiences based on my values rather than my expectations, I influence my children in big ways.
This spring I smiled inside when my teen said he wanted to grow hot peppers. I got the starts and in the end he didn’t help plant them and that’s ok. My other son and I did it and I know we will all reap the benefits of the pepper harvest. Even though it didn’t look like I thought it would, we are living part of the dream today.