Feels Like home

April 14, 2014 / The Farm

Soleado Lavender Farm,
Dickerson Maryland

I’m always amazed by the number of people who tell us that the farm reminds them of home. Even more I am amazed at how many people say it “feels” like home.  I focus on that because the places referenced are often too exotic for me to find a visual likeness.

Our friend from upstate NY told me with a note of surprise, that the farm was very similar to where he grew up.  I was very pleased that he had that reaction, but had to laugh, this was probably the least remarkable comparison yet.  By that time we had heard the same thing from a man from Poland, a woman from Sweden, a couple from south India, two men from Africa, and many people from South and Central America who were powerfully reminded of home. It was very surprising at first to hear this about such a wide range of places, with very different climates and distinctive features.  
I began to see what I had hoped to find; that people were responding to this area and specifically this farm with a deep emotional pull back to a more carefree, peaceful feeling of growing up in any beautiful natural spot.  It resonated for them on the same level even if it did not really look like the countries mentioned.

My own experience of this was the reverse, and directly confirmed the comparison to South India where I spent part of my childhood and teen years, and a place I have a deep emotional attachment to.  Here on the farm there are days when the oppressive humidity and the brilliance of the sun seems almost to rival that equatorial searing we received in Kerala.  It is when the heat breaks though, and black and slate gray thunderheads move in that I am taken back in time.  As children swimming in the Pamba River, we would sometimes stay too long.  We would see one of our parents waving to us from the shore and would swim back frantically with lightning crashing in the distance behind us.  Looking back we’d see a wall of rain gliding toward us.  It is not often that I experience the sensation of being there, but days like yesterday when we have a little bit of monsoon to break up the August heat, I see that same curtain of rain shutting us in, advancing up the driveway or rolling down off Sugarloaf Mt. and across the lavender fields  then pelting down on the roof!  I have that feeling of being transported by weather and by twisting white/green leaves against a dark sky.

This past weekend the farm was in Jamaica!  Rohan, who is working on the electric for the store, was sitting under the maple tree by the store waiting for Kevin to let him in.  It was a hot bright day but breezy.  He closed his eyes again as Kevin walked up and he said in a low voice, “right HERE it feels like Jamaica, not out there,” he said gesturing to right outside the line the shade made on the gravel, “but here it feels exactly like Jamaica.”

I never get tired of hearing it, and I love that people have a visceral reaction to this place.

It had to be that sense of peace that first attracted my grandmother.  It was her friend, Karl, who brought her out to see the farm on a very wet rainy morning in the early spring of 1962, and within minutes she knew she wanted to buy the farm.  According to the story told many times over the years, she felt immediately that she was home.

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