Our neighbors are moving. They have lived on this farm for many years but the toll of bad weather and failing health has rung its bell for the final time....and it's time to move on.
It's evident in the rusted chair where once sat happy memories on back porch steps. The rumpled jackets in reckless abandon tell the story of tired footsteps that no longer care to sing the song of rural life.
The weathered barn, once erected with pride in hopes of golden years, now stands silent....and just barely. The warm breath of cattle and sweet smell of hay no longer resonates through rafters, and its hollowed emptiness echoes loneliness.
The old water pump still sputters a stream of cold water, but stands choked by tall weeds; forgotten in the look towards the future.
I don't blame them. Farming is a tough job, a tough life and there are times when the brave thing to do is to move ahead towards a life without the labor that can break one's back and try one's spirit. With the hope for better health and the need to be close to family, they will make their new home among beautiful hills and quiet respite. And that's how it should be.
In the late thrills of spring, another family will take their place with new energy, new ideas, new hopes. Once again the chair will sing its metalic melody as it glides across back porch steps. Old jackets will be replaced by new ones, embraced in whistling energy and hung on kitchen door hooks. Strong winds will still blow through rusted barn boards, but the sound of singing hammers will echo through the rafters in attempted restoration. Tall grass will fall around the the faded red pump, replaced by morning glories, and new life will take hold.
Still in the family, still in the name....the new generation takes over with hope for the farm, pride in their heritage and strength of the spirit. And that, too, is how it should be.