Where can you go when the world seems to have painted a big red target on your backside? You got it, the Little Red Barn.
One of our Barnie pals texted me this morning to ask if she could just come get a little peace and quiet in the LRB today, knowing it wasn't one of our regular get-together Saturdays. She had spent a hard week, "vacationing" with family, and that had taken quite a toll on her. What had been billed as a time for some siblings to get together and enjoy each others' company turned into a marathon group backbiting event. Ouch. This calls for some extended BARN TIME.
She showed up with her knitting projects and I left her alone with her yarn and her thoughts while I went about my morning farm chores. When I finished, I joined her in the barn with a big cup of coffee for each of us, and took up my own stitching. How awesome for me to have an excuse to sit and crochet while our friend, let's call her "Marilyn," poured out her painful story.
I was so humbled to see that she felt safe, and relieved to have a place to let it all hang out - to air the litany of petty incidents that had ruined her time away, and stolen all her spare thoughts even after her return. As the hours slipped smoothly by today, we shared lots and lots of stories of our lives. I learned lots about my friend that our previous visits had not revealed. I got to see lines of tension melt off her face and sweet, relaxed smiles replace them. We laughed. I'm not sure she had laughed in a while.
And look here - I even got to sit still long enough to get some spinning done! "Marilyn" was shocked, and glad that her visit had given me just the excuse I needed to carve out a bit of "me" time, too.
This, I believe, begins to approach the core of agriculturally supported community. We're here for each other. What may have begun as a love of knitting, yarn, or fuffy critters, blooms and grows into a love for the other people similarly attracted. We're drawn together by the stuff of the farm: the open air, the smell of fresh dirt, the doe eyes of the alpacas, the silky softness of the shorn wool, the hot coffee on a brisk day--who knows what element sums it up for each person, but we find ourselves gathered in the cozy barn every Third or Fourth Saturday, anxious to pick up where we left off last time--anxious to be known and valued a little more deeply.
And now, we see that the need for this space, this safety, this refuge, comes more than just on the appointed days. So I want you to know, that if you find yourself in need of some quiet Barn Time, anytime, day or night, just text me.
I'll leave the light on for you.