June 15, 2023
It must have been God’s doing that eventually led me to move from Colorado to Arizona a year later, although I was struggling to accept this new change and very vocally moved expressed my unhappiness, in my prayers. Nevertheless, I moved to Tempe to start graduate school during the beginning of the Covid lockdowns, and that was where I reconnected with Michael and Lylah.
In my struggle for healing, my emotional and mental health took a dive in a new place, isolated, with no outlet to make new connections or friends. My friend encouraged me to volunteer on the farm, despite my reluctance. I could have did the comfortable thing and stayed home and binged movies all day in bed. I could have allowed myself to spiral into the voices that were increasingly getting louder in my head— but I figured hey, it wouldn’t hurt to do even some mindless task and help out Lylah with a little farm chore here and there.
So I went, usually on a Friday, harvesting hibiscus bulbs, moringa leaves, calendular, and rose geraniums. I’d take them apart, lay them out to dry, reorganize the room and its contents. I shoveled leaves, raked beds, cleaned up where Mother Nature had decided to discard her last season’s handiwork. The farm chores were harder than I thought. But there was comfort in the hard work— in the unfamiliarity, the discomfort, in a foreign place that was stranger and yet so welcoming. This was not a place that normally existed in the Valley, let alone in the middle of suburban Scottsdale. It didn’t make sense, how the wild intermingled with the garden beds, or the fact that dinners were made right at the stone ovens outdoors. There was something about harvesting fresh herbs and plants, and being involved in the delicate process of turning them into skincare.
I think it saved my life. To be left alone working, under the sunshine, in the quiet, where God was able to speak to me in wordless manners when all words had failed. I thought perhaps my actions were futile, but every promise I made to show up at the farm to work was a promise to myself I could make it another day.
It’s funny that it would also be the place where I came full circle. My husband and I were married in a little spot on the farm, called the Sanctuary, by Pastor Michael. The baby goats bleated with curiosity. My family watched virtually. My Arizona family was there with me. Whatever God did, He did in Love. And while Eden is long gone, the Simple Farm is proof thyat He still gives us snippets and tastes of all the glory and beauty that is to come. We still love having the privilege of walking amidst the trees and gardens and birds, such a hidden little oasis that speaks to the soul.
- Jesse + Esther
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