I clearly remember the first time I drove down the driveway of this farm I call home. The acres of fields, maple trees and well kept lawns were breathtaking. John had told me his father considered this property to be heaven on earth. He wasn't wrong. Being a city girl, the first thing I noticed was the quiet. The house is set far back from the road. The only thing you can hear on a beautiful summer day is the sound of the leaves hitting the bark of the tree. It was a bit unnerving at first, but that lack of stimulation is something I now relish.
My favourite spot on the entire farm is underneath a massive weeping willow. I don't know what it is about that breed of tree, but willows make me wistful. I'll be honest, I've never sat underneath it. I've never bought the hammock I keep saying I will buy. I've never rested on that hammock with a cup of tea. I will though.
Before the renovations on the old house and the building of the new house, there were two weeping willows. Perfectly symmetrical twin trees that swayed in a unison I found poetic. When the new house was being constructed it was necessary to cut down one of those beautiful trees. I was not impressed with that turn of events and fought long and hard with both John and his father to keep the second willow exactly where it was - even if it meant redesigning the driveway.
I did win. That willow is still there. It blows and sways and loses branches and buds like you wouldn't believe. Our bedroom window is perfectly situated so that it is the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning, the edges of the massive glass perfectly framing my beloved tree.
At this time last year, I was less impressed with that tree than I am now and was before. In fact, I was in a bit of a quarrel with the entire farm. Times being what they were, the farm was becoming a financial burden that felt like it was strangling us. So, we put the property up for sale. It sat for seven months. We had showing after showing, cleaning and scrubbing for lookey-loos and a few folks with the financial well-being to entertain actually purchasing this house.
For a long time, driving up that driveway produced an entirely different feeling than that first time. It was suffocating and taxing. The entire house produced a heavy feeling on my chest. The space to keep clean, the grass to maintain, the fields to be cut. I wasn't kidding when I told several friends and well meaning acquaintances that I would gladly sell the entire place for a beer and a plate of nachos.
For seven months it sat. It just didn't call out to anyone like it did to my father in law when he first saw it and had to have it.
And I'm okay with that.
I took a nap this afternoon, as I often do to in celebration of the end of a long work week. I plugged my iPod into my ears and let Bob Dylan lull me to sleep. When I woke up, I saw my willow tree. The buds have sprung up and by week's end, will be fully bloomed into the most beautiful leaves on any tree I have seen. Their lush green reminded me why I don't think we can leave this house.