Where I live there are meadows out my back door, a short walk through the woods. They are on an eighty-acre farm that’s been sold twice in the last two years. There are two meadows, separated by a creek which runs slowly downhill to a pair of ponds, which are in front of the main farm house. A thin gravel road winds between, up to the house. That’s on a hill, overlooking. There are old trees on either side of the creek. On the far meadow sits a horse stable, but that’s about it. Barb wire fencing surrounds the property. Closest to my place there’s a gap where one can scoot under the fencing for easy access.
No one is lives or works at the farm now. It’s ramshackle. No one’s been going in or out of the farm either from what I have seen-except me. I’ve taken to scooting under the barb and exploring this land. The sky’s big and I’m small. It’s quiet and private and secluded and hidden. On a starry night the sky is black and FULL. Awhile back the meadows were all grown over with blackberry bushes and tall grasses and prickly shrubs which made it difficult to walk through, especially at the height of summer. Last year someone came through and mowed both meadows down to the ground. I wanted to cry to think of lost habitat and seeing it looking so ugly. I didn’t know that the purpose was to bring in paint horses! For a month or so these horses fed on the meadows. My cat Surly and I brought carrots and broccoli up to the fence line often and the horses would come up when they heard me or saw movement from the tree line at the barb wire. Their whinnying added to the already noisy squawking of geese, barking of dogs, tree frogs, cicadas and other sounds that I hear in the woods where I live. The cacaphony as they say. Then just as quickly as the horses came, one morning they were gone.
And the meadows were still again.
I don’t know what happened to the horses or the folks who owned the farm then. Last I heard their intention was to have a stable there and give riding lessons with their paints and invite the public. But then I heard someone else bought the farm. Since then I haven’t heard anything or seen anyone. So now I have taken to walking these open fields and spending time there. I guess one would call it “squatting” on the land. I cross the creek to the other side and sit on the hill where the geese and other birds hang out. The birds just kind of sit there and look back at me. I walk over after dinner and watch the sun go down over the tree line. I sit in the meadow and stare down at the main house, almost daring someone to walk out of it. The house is far from where I spend my time and the hills roll here. So depending on where I am if someone was in the house they may not be able to see me. I have never seen another person on this land for awhile but I want to. I want to meet the new owners and ask them what they plan on doing with their farm. For now these meadows have become an extension of who I am. I am eager to share how much their land has meant to me.
Where I live people sell farms just like this, which then get subdivided for houses. The folks who buy the houses pay lots of money to move out to the country. It saddens me that these folks don’t realize that the houses they buy sit on land that has never been touched, never spoiled by anyone, ever.