Friday, May 28, 2010
The Farm Where I Grew Up
Sometimes going on a journey to the past is painful, sometimes joyful and sometimes shocking. Mine was a little bit of all of that. Last weekend I went to where I grew up. The purpose of the journey was that I was asked to do the Internment ceremony for my sister who died last year. But I also wanted to show my niece the place where I grew up and where she spent the first 2 years of her life. The farm was bought when my father retired and was never lived in since then. That would be almost 25 years ago. Now what was once a beautiful big house is a hollowed out shell that is so run down we almost expected the gale wind to blow it over.
Lots of memories came flooding back to me. Happy family gatherings, the farm kitchen table with all the farm hands sitting around it at harvest, and some of the not so fun memories of physical and emotional abuse I experienced at the hands of my father and older brother. I was amazed at how large the evergreen trees that I planted when I was a child had become! But as we made our way back to the car, which we parked in the second driveway and walked in from, I couldn't help but feel as hollow and empty as the house and the old barn that was almost falling over. This is a phase of my life that is completely over. I let the memories go, good and bad, and allow them to blow away with the wind of that day.
I am also amazed and proud of the people that we have become since then. By this I am referring to both myself and my niece. We have, despite some of the abuse and neglect that we experienced in our early lives, become strong and dynamic individuals who are creative and intelligent and full of promise. This can be taken away by no one. This is the medicine we will pass down to our children so that they, too, will become strong and amazing individuals. It really doesn't matter where we grew up, or who brought us up. What matters is what we do with the experiences and how we transmute the negatives into powerful medicines with which we can walk through the rest of our lives.