We have had few naysayers to our project here at Wildefern. Not many, but one or two acquaintances have asked, “Why now? You’re not getting any younger, you know…” Precisely! They answered their own question. But for the most part, we get a lot of interest in what we’re doing, especially from people our age or older.
I remember when Bill retired early from working for the State of Connecticut. His 9-to-5 management job had become more like 8 am to 11 pm, especially with the rise of technology that made everyone so much more accessible and feeling entitled to immediate responses. At his retirement party after 34 years, many colleagues came up to him and said, “I wish I could leave.” They could. They had put in the same number of years or more. Yet there’s always fear of moving out of one’s comfort zone and taking a leap into the unknown.
I get it. My first response to anything new is often “no.” Spontaneity is not my strong suit. Thinking outside the box doesn’t come easy to me. And I surely would never consider myself a risk-taker.
But I trust in intuition. If something feels right without being forced, I’m all in — head first, as I do like to ponder for a short bit, but then I’m in it feet-next. I research, talk things through with positive thinkers, consider many possibilities, and then I move forward pretty quickly. I don’t believe in being stagnant…never have. Life is too precious for standing still. The two years before we moved on to Wildefern were spent caring for Bill’s mom, who was slowly losing her joy of life and who passed soon after turning 92. Being with her in her final years was a privilege that taught us many things…one of which is to do what you’ve always dreamed of doing, and do it while you can. Even if you’re just making steps to realize that dream, you’ll gain a more positive attitude and you’ll have hope.
So, why now? Why not? We’re not unaware that building and maintaining a farm is a lot of work. But we’re both of the belief that such work is good for the soul and just might help us age more heartily (graceful aging isn’t quite in my cards!). And juxtaposed with the hard work, I’m enjoying time sitting out back and listening to the cacophony of crickets, the singsong tweets of birds and the whispers of wind through the woods.
My joy of life grows exponentially with each new sprout in my garden, each evening of listening to the operatic movements of the peepers down by the pond, and with each nail that I hear Bill pounding out in the barn, in preparation for our future forever friends. Today we rescued a large toad from the pile of lumber that was recently delivered. I picked him up and introduced him to the toad house under the rosebush in the dooryard garden. That simple act brought me great joy.
So, why now? Life is precious, and we each only get one. My advice: don’t wait to seize the day.