A Letter to Maw Maw and Paw Paw

January 21, 2023

Dear Maw Maw and Paw Paw,

We moved back to the farm today.  Just like I promised.  The tractor in the field is still where you left it.  Your gloves matted with oil and dust on the workbench in the barn.  I put them on.  They still are too big on me.  Sometimes this whole place still feels too big for me.

It was always Maw-Maw’s and Paw-Paw’s house growing up.  I always felt like I belonged there because I belonged to you.  I still catch my tongue stumbling on saying “my House”. It feels foreign and strange.

I roam the fields where we worked together and played when I was a child.  I see your silhouette bent over in the work of farming and recall things that you told me to remember.  It seemed funny to me at the time not knowing there would be a time without you but you knew it would come and you let me live in the freedom of those days. You shielded me in those tender years from just how hard farming was on you. The burden of it fell on your shoulders allowing me to grow and flourish in a deep affection for this place. And I believe that was your goal.  In your wisdom you knew this affection would be what drew me back to the Farm.

It feels important to carry the work forward. To find my own way in farming. I often doubt that I am up for the task. I wonder if you doubted as well.

So we are here now.  Living on the land.  Living in your house.  Remembering what you taught me.  Remembering what you showed me. Remembering how to live and how to make a life on a farm and hoping it would make you proud.

Your Granddaughter,