I can’t tell you when I knew I was in love – it must have been there, growing for quite some time. Perhaps it had to do with running through the fields as a child, plucking milkweed pods and tearing into them to find hundreds of puffy seeds waiting to take wind. Maybe it was learning to cast the pole into the pond, looking up to my father for his approval. Watching the water ripple on a quiet summer night with only crickets and cicada to offer the melody for my memory.
It could have been the mornings I would press my nose to the glass of my childhood bedroom, looking across fields of new snow, thinking how magical the world looked when it reflected the sun’s love. My big red barn would stand strong against the white backdrop, and I’d pull on my boots and make angels in the snow.
When I was older, I would hitch our horse up to the cart and ride around in a vintage gown, pretending I was Anne of Green Gables. I would pick pears that had dropped from the trees, filling baskets before jumping back into the cart to deliver my hard work to the other horses in the barn.
When I was a teenager, I would spend my summers toiling in gardens. I would reclaim overgrowth and maintain the lawn and fields with a pride that only now I acknowledge as true love.
And when my heart had been broken and I didn’t know where else to go, I got in my car and left Syracuse as fast as I could to drive to the only place that has consistently given me strength and solace over the course of my life.
I can disappear into another person on this farm – one that allows me to recover the joy of youth and the simplicity of the past. Time slows down on this land, and trees and animals in their splendor take your breath away.
This is Fox Cross Farm – the only home I’ve ever known. There was never a question in my mind that I would grow old on this farm; that I might raise my own children to love the freedom of bare feet in the summer, and the excitement of the first blanket of snow after the bright orange and red hues faded in the fall.
Lately I walk the property with Ivan, filling my lungs with autumn air and listening to the creatures of wildlife as they continue to make a home here on Fox Cross. I let my dog wander the fields and circle the pond, savoring every quiet moment I have to reflect before the world gets busy again.
I wrote a few weeks ago about the mistakes we made moving home. It was cathartic, and it was honest. But what is even more true is the love I have for this land, this perfect 24 acres in Western New York.
Welcome to Fox Cross Farm.