I am sat in the back of a pick-up truck, tumbling around as it makes its way higher up the mountain on a one-track path. The late afternoon sun is starting to disappear behind the mountains and the sound of birds mixed with little girls’ laughter, fills the air.
They jostle for space, giggling and screaming with joy as the truck sways around. I catch sight of my daughter’s face, bathed in sunlight against a backdrop of velvet green, her eyes closed to the wind blowing through her hair, and I know that I am witnessing the childhood I dream of for her.
When we arrive at the dairy farm, the girls hop over the side of the truck and run around saying hello to the calves; even an escapee adds to their adventure. We watch as the cows head back out to pasture and then make our way over to fill up our container with fresh milk. The girls do what children do; make a mess, fight over who holds the funnel and who pours, before they race back to the truck for the homeward adventure.
I realise, in that moment, that the opportunity to experience these daily rhythms of farming life is giving my daughter just what I had hoped: nature, freedom, fresh air, closeness to animals.
For this I am glad.
It has taken a while to settle into a new routine and for some time I found myself standing back, silently observing the daily chores of farm life, whilst feeling a little lost about my place here. But now, almost two weeks in, I wake with newfound energy wondering what the day will bring, filled with the realisation that my body – and mind – are absorbing what they so craved.
To find the time to really ask ourselves questions deep within is a luxury for most, and as I wander to the barn to feed the lambs late at night, as I work on the terraces or gaze out whilst watering the garden, as I stand with the horses, sit with the chickens and watch the sheep as they pass by my window each morning, I cherish the opportunity I have to do just that and I realise that I am gaining just as much as my daughter from this adventure.