Friday, April 27, 2012

Memory of a Farmstead

The first spring at the farm was a season filled with wonder.

I had purchased the old property in the early fall when the leaves were donning their rich, lovely party clothes of ruby, russet, amber and saffron.  Much of the ground around the old trees was already covered with the crunchy brown disarray of their discards. 

Little time was spent raking or tidying around the trunks of the trees...after all...three children needed to be settled into school, drafty windows and doors needed repaired before serious winter set in, and the chaos and clutter of boxes and furniture that didn't quite fit needed to be managed.

Shivering our way through the first winter with a furnace that didn't quite work and doors and windows that hadn't been quite sealed, we all rejoiced in the mud and magic as a sunny spring began.

After the children had scattered to school, I found myself wandering through the yard in the morning with a steaming cup of tea.

The warmth of the stoneware mug offered cozy comfort from the sharp morning chill of the air.

Seeing a tender green shoot emerging from a leaf covered patch of ground, I would carefully take a muddy boot or chilly fingers and scrape away some of the protective covering of leaves.  The tender green shoots would shiver along with me and I would carefully cover them back up.

I waited.

And wondered.

When would I finally discover the treasures those fragile harbingers of spring taunted me with?

One definition of the word treasure is 'a concentration of riches, often one which is considered lost or forgotten until being rediscovered'. As the snow melted away, the forgotten riches of texture, color and scent awaited my daily discovery. 

Gardeners before me had planted a concentration of riches that I didn't even know existed when I purchased the farmstead.

Some the flowers I already knew...snowdrops, crocus, hyacinth, daffodils...

Some flowers required research to discover their identity.   In the days before google, I found myself making small bouquets to take to the local garden center.  The patient clerks easily solved my small mysteries.  "Oh, this one is a scilla!   This color of blue is so distinctive!" or "Fritillaria.  One of my favorites!" 

Forsythia and phlox.  Pussy willow and lenten rose.  Vinca and magnolia.  Violets and lilacs.

The farmhouse was always filled with flowers...from tiny, fragile bouquets in teacups to primitive crocks bursting with jewel-flowered branches.  


And my memories of those years is still filled with the wonder of discovery.

The first spring in the farmhouse is something I hold clearly in my memories.  Discovering the bounty the previous owners had left was and remains to this day one of my favorite treasures. 

I can easily imagine people living in the house finding the treasures I left for them... personal concentration of riches that will never, ever be forgotten.

'Who plants a seed beneath the sod and waits to see...believes in God.'

This post is written for Alphabe-Thursday's letter 'W'.   W is for wonder.

To read other W posts, just click here.   

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ellen b. said...

The wonder of Spring unfolding is marvelous as are your memories. I saw my first Fritillarias on a walk in England in 2004. A field full of them. I saw my second wild one in the Santa Monica Mtns. on a hike one early Saturday morning. Just one. I was thrilled to spot it. Have a wonderful weekend.

Ms Sparrow said...

The wildflowers are so abundant this time of year. I need a trip to the woods to look for trilliums!

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for letting us share your memories Jenny. Our youngest is fascinated with all things farms, so I know the best places around for sight-seeing. A couple of weeks ago we found a hidden field full of purple wildflowers. We had to stop and enjoy the view from the family car.

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

Ya have to love the wonder of beautiful flora pushin' though the earth!!! 'Sure feeds my OCFD (Obsessive Compulsive Flower Disorder).

I'm sure the new owners will bask in the great treasures you have left behind.

New treasure yet await you! :o)

Wonderful W story sweetie!

God bless ya and have a marvelous weekend!!!

Susan Anderson said...

Love this post...and that couplet at the end.



Tami Von Zalez said...

Love this post! Here is one of my favorite quotes by Clara L. Balfour: "What a desolate place would be a world without flowers? -- It would be a face without a smile; a feast without a welcome. -- Are not flowers the stars of the earth? -- And are not our stars the flowers of heaven?"
Give me a visit some time at

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

In an old farmhouse I once lived in, I found a field of daffodils that had naturalized behind the barn. It is one of the more wonderful memories from that part of my life.

I am so loving this series!!!!



Splendid Little Stars said...

I love that definition of treasure!
You reeled me in with you wonderful descriptions!

21 Wits said...

Jenny you rock my world with a treasure to, in knowing you and sharing your lovely memories (and awesome photos) of such a heart warming story. Thank you.

Ms. A said...

Your memories are so much better than mine. I "wonder" where mine when, and why I can't remember them?

Anonymous said...

Great post. There is much to hold in wonder with the arrival of spring. It's just a miracle the way those plants survive to brighten our world.

NanE said...

Hi Jenny, I loved your W post today! Spring is my favorite season for this very reason. Every year I watch with wonder as new plants poke their little heads out of the ground. I plante asparagus in my garden this year and yesterday I noticed the first sprouts had pushed their way to the surface. Have a great weekend, Nan

Judie said...

Jenny, what lovely memories of your treasures. Beyond these few words, I am speechless.


Sue said...

You have the ability to paint such vivid pictures with your words...thank you for the journey.

Rachael West said...

I really enjoyed this memory thank you so much for sharing once again. I seriously need to by an old farm house asap.

H said...

During our first spring in this house, we discovered a whole array of flowers which the previous owners had planted. It is still the time when my garden is at its very best!

Amy said...

Jenny, this is maddeningly beautiful. I long for such a home. Old, full of treasures and mysteries left by people long since forgotten. This is my dream. I would even suffer through a freezing winter for such a home. I love your memories of your farm house and my heart still breaks that it is gone from you now.

storybeader said...

what a nice thought, how the cycle of landowners plant their gardens and bulbs. Not only for themselves, but for future tenants. Love your farmhouse memories. {:-D

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Beautiful memory Jenny. When we bought our home we discovered for a year the treasures in our yard. It unfolded season by season and brought joy! Hugs, Linda

Julie Kwiatkowski Schuler said...

You're so keen on plants. I'm going to post pics of some of the things growing in my front yard. Maybe you'll be able to tell me what they are!

Pondside said...

This post is close to my heart, as I have moved into and out of so many houses - sometimes delighted to find the surprises about which you so eloquently wrote, and sometimes disappointed for a moment before gathering myself to plant a rainbow.

Cathy Kennedy said...

You always spin such warmth and wonder in your farmhstead memories. I love walking down your memory lane. I feel as if I've been there myself. =D

What/Where in the World?

Flat Creek Farm said...

Love, love, love. You have captured the magic of Spring perfectly! I've missed ya, Jenny M!! ♥ -Tammy

The Poet said...

Dear Jenny,
This was such a beautiful post that I could feel the tears welling up. You speak of the farmhouse with such love and yearning. I am so happy to know this place through your words and your eyes. I think this is one of my favorites of your nostalgic moments. I would love to read this again in its entirety. Thanks for sharing.


KDL said...

We planted lots of tulip and daffodil bulbs this past fall. I was so impatient waiting for them to appear this Spring. They really are buried treasure. How fun to await mystery flowers and then have to research what they are. Love it...

Esther Joy said...

You capture the essence of spring so wonderfully! And those unusual flowers - very interesting! I had never heard of Scilla and Fritillaria!