I've lived on this mountain in New York nearly twelve years now. And I started my farming adventure, years before, on rented land in Idaho and Vermont. Half of my twenties and now, nearly all of my thirties, have belonged to this dream of homesteading, writing books, and living an isolated and creative life.
That was all I ever wanted out of life. To have a home, safe and bursting with purpose. It never mattered if it was fancy, successful, or easy. What mattered was waking up every morning on my own working land and the fight to stay there. It didn't matter if I was broke, hurt, struggling, lonely, scared, or about to be foreclosed. Because even the most difficult days on this farm were days spent still holding onto this life. Grasping at meaning. Just the trying to remain here, was enough. A fire under my chest to encourage me every morning to get up and continue the morning chores. To keep pushing for sales, writing here or on book proposals or essays, to get through another winter, to come out, to fall in love.
All I ever wanted in life is here on these 6.5 acres. The woman I have become, the stories I have collected, the mistakes and victories - all of it has been worth it. But I don't know how sustainable it is any more. 38 is old to be without security, health insurance, savings, or a passport.
And some days, especially these hot days where the work stings your eyes with sweat and the imposing winter and all its struggles loom like a lead weight on my shoulders... it feels hopeless. Impossible. Foolish.
Some days are all about that doubt. To pretend it isn't there is a lie. And I don't know what will happen next. But I know I have horse fencing to run, and buckets to carry, and work to still do despite where my head is at. Because the farm doesn't care about my anxieties. The weeds still grow, the horses still graze, the dogs still need to be walked, the jam made, the firewood and hopes stacked.
Today feels hard. But I am grateful for whatever it teaches me, and I hope it is received with grace and a better day tomorrow.