It was my last day of work at my off-farm job–a job that I did enjoy, with people I loved seeing every day. Once the summer began, though, balancing farming, writing, and being a mama with another full-time job became too much, and something had to give. Questions of security, happiness, fulfillment, and family arose in the weeks leading to my decision: would it work to lose my consistent paycheck? How much money was I really making after factoring in gas, commute time, and car repairs? Could we afford to pay a farm employee to make up for my absence? What kind of family life do we want to create? Is this job contributing my happiness or to my stress level? What is my time worth to me, and what do I want to spend it on?
After all this, I came back to what I’ve always known: I want to be a Mama, to be part of Waylon’s days and not just his mornings and nights. I want to be a farmer, to move my body throughout the day and let soil and sun stain my skin. I want to be a writer, to put more energy into writing and to make this a bigger part of my life. Despite all the benefits of my off-farm job, I found what was pulling me away was much stronger than what was keeping me there. And still, as I took down the pictures and cleaned up my desk at the office, I felt a small bittersweet pang inside. Everyone I worked with sent me off with hugs and encouragement as I walk this path of creating a life that brings me truly alive.
And so, when I found the flowers and Mary’s note, the joy and gratitude that welled up inside me felt like a confirmation. Freedom Day. We have this choice every day: to be free. It’s not always simple. It’s not always clear. But it is always there.
There is a poem by David Whyte, called Sweet Darkness, in which he writes:You must learn one thing: This world was meant to be free in Give up all other worlds Except the one to which you belong.
I’m choosing this world here on a western hillside. This world of garden, pasture, forest and sky. Where I wake every day to snuggles with my baby and breakfast with my husband. Where I move slow enough to feel roots growing from my feet down into the soil and feeding the flower of my body. I’m choosing all of this, knowing it will not always be easy or comfortable, but that it will be true and enlivening.
And I wish the same for you–that you may walk the path that brings you alive. That you may celebrate your own freedom day every day.