We have people visit the farm from literally all over and for all sorts of reasons. They may come through Harvest Host and camp on the farm. Or maybe they’re staying for a weekend, week, or even longer and rent out our guest suite through Airbnb. Some are coming for work, some are visiting family, some are looking for a unique getaway, and some are just passing through. Most often we get to meet our guests and chat with them over the duration of their stay, while others kind of keep to themselves and enjoy the quiet. Either is totally fine with us, but it is cool to get to chat with our guests, hear more of their story, what brought them to our little corner of the Earth, and sometimes even more.
We genuinely hope that through opening up our space for others to visit, they get a better and more intimate view of life in the country and on a farm. They get to see the work firsthand, ask questions, and often meet a “real” farmer for the first time. We pray that their experience here will give them a fuller understanding and greater respect for this world and this life and that this will be something that goes with them, well, forever. But sometimes, our guests leave us with something that sticks with us, for what I hope is forever.
Last week we had a family of three visiting their family in the area and stayed on the farm during their visit. We had seen them in passing, but not had the opportunity to have much of an extended conversation with them until their last day.
The husband came downstairs to ask some questions about the check-out instructions, and I think something else, but I can’t remember. We started chatting and Romney Ann asked about his daughter. RA wanted to show her Ace, our new horse. He went upstairs to get her and while the girls walked ahead to see Ace, he and I chatted for a bit.
Ya know, mostly normal get-to-know-you questions: Where are you from? What brought your family to this part of SC? How long is the drive? Nothing too exciting, but nice. Then he began asking questions about the farm. I LOVE talking about the farm. He was asking about who comes out to visit, the types of renters we have in our guest suite, how long we’ve been doing it all, how and where we sold meat, and more. I was answering his questions which would lead to another question and another and another. But at some point, I think I quit letting him ask questions.
At one point, as I was talking, my brain started to realize that he hadn’t asked a question in a while, but I was still talking. Have you ever had that happen? You’re still talking, but you’re also having this inner dialogue with yourself at the same time? Please tell me that’s not just me.
Anyway, I am someone who tries to think long and hard before I say “I’m sorry” – I’m a recovering obligatory apologizer - But I stopped and said, “I’m so sorry, I could just talk about the farm all day. I know you guys may need to get going.”
He looked at me and said, “Don’t apologize. Not many of us have something in our life that we can get that excited about. I think it’s awesome.”
It’s been a week now since that conversation, and I haven’t been able to get that line out of my head. “Not many of us have something in our life that we can get that excited about.”
If that’s true, that breaks my heart. For a lot of us we could probably talk all day and show pictures of our children and/or pets. But what about outside of that, outside of relationships or companions? Think about it. What is something you could get lost talking to someone about because you were so excited? Is it your job, your vocation, your faith, a hobby, a book, a place, or an experience? As I’ve thought over it the past few days, I think there are a few things that get me so excited that my internal voice would chime in and say, “Hey, Sarah Katherine” (ya know, cause it will definitely use my middle name) “I think you’ve probably been talking too much.”
One of them is our farm. I love talking about it. What we’ve built and where we’re headed. Our dreams for the space, our mission and vision. I am super proud of it and love the opportunity to share it with others and teach others where their food comes from. The farm is also deeply intertwined with our faith, so we can’t talk about the farm without talking about our vocation to be stewards of this land and how rooted that is in our belief of a God that commanded us to care for God’s creation.
I can also get so excited I lose track of time when I’m sharing about the hope that is in hemp. Every single time I see and experience it help me, I get even more pumped. Not to mention the stories I hear from others about how this plant and incredible mission and company is helping them – whether it’s with physical health, emotional health, or financial wellness – I get lost in the joy and the hope and love telling others about it.
I also so deeply and genuinely love talking about travel - my travel, your travel, a bucket list for travel. The experiencing of new places, people, cuisine, cultures, and more. I think it’s fascinating and beautiful and find myself sometimes, when people have asked a questions about my travel experiences I get totally lost in the memories.
So what is something that you get so excited about? I think of this as something different from a soapbox, but I think that each of mine above have a soapbox component, because I’m so passionate about them, but I’m asking you to think of the positive side, the happy side, the deep deep joy side.
I really don’t want that man to be right. I hope we can all find something that gets us so excited to talk about, we get lost in the memories, hope, and joy of the topic. But if you can’t, what’s one thing you can do today to try to find that thing? And even better, how can you figure out a way to spend more time doing it?!