We spent the first year camping and clearing brush on the new land. Watching the sun. Trying to find the perfect spot to build our future home. We walked the logging trail to the back of the lot, through the woods, where one of several rock walls remains. No one builds a stone wall through a forest, these trees were a new growth forest that had sprung up after a pasture was let go. There was a farm here, at least once.
I found plants I knew. My favorite concoction was a jar of tasty late summer edibles – blackberries, monarda, oregano, a wild apple, nettles – topped off with a bit of honey and vodka. When we strained off the liquid come winter, we recognized the smell right away. It was the smell of the field, leaves gently crunching under the tires of the truck, creeping in with the windows down on a warm summer's night after one of our many long drives north….
This smells like home, I remember him saying.
The following December – a year after we had bought the property – the little cabin next door came up for sale. We were surprised to see it - less than 2 years after it sold most recently. We swooned over the pictures and the long winding driveway – but it was a good bit out of our price range and weren't quite ready to leave Massachusetts.
We watched it over the next few months though. Property doesn't move fast up here, and I was hoping it might wait for us. That fall, on one of our visits to the property, the cabin looked empty to me. I coaxed a very reluctant Joe to venture over (he says trespass).
Once we realized it was definitely empty, we peeked in all the windows and wandered around the yard, and took a picture of the sign in the sliding glass window. We found out the owners had to relocate and the house was going up for foreclosure. It could be anywhere from a few months to over a year before it would be available for sale.
Please little house, choose us. If not, please choose good neighbors. I whispered.
I spent the next two and a half months falling asleep every night to the same half dream, half meditation – envisioning myself walking along the driveway, up the three steps to the front door, and into the house. I pulled my senses into this meditation as much as possible. The feeling of my feet on the gravel, the steps, the sound of birds singing, the smell of the forest, the cold doorknob in my hand. While I was strongly leaning towards the house as ours, I held fast to my little mantra.
Please little house, choose us. If not, please choose good neighbors.
The realtor called the week before Christmas to tell us the house was up for sale. The price and estimated closing costs were just under our budget. Within 72 hours we had driven to NY, visited the house, made an offer, and accepted a counter offer. Woosh. Here we go.
Typing this up now – and being a mama to four – I see the last few years as somewhat of the birth of our dream.
Woosh. Here we go.
I look back and am often humbled by the abundance of what I see as magic – divine intervention – whatever you want to call it – at play. A tiny collection of seemingly unconnected bits coming together to be just what we dreamed of. It wasn't exactly the dream we started with, but something about it felt right and we followed.
Perhaps we weren't two people that found a little old farm…… perhaps a little old farm found us.