Every year, from birth until I was a teen, my family and I traveled to West Virginia to visit my grandparents on their 200-acre farm, set on a dirt road in the mountains. The land was filled with animals, a party line telephone, one television channel, a radio station (more like just static), and no lights to drown out the stars and thousands of fireflies.
As a child, I embraced the time I had there. I fed the chickens, rode horses, played in the barn, caves and creek, and spent time laying in the open field. As I got older, the farm lost its appeal. As a teenager, being stuck in the middle of nowhere was boring and uneventful. I felt trapped, and had lost the ability to find joy in the beauty that surrounded me.
Recently, I traveled back there. I watched every twist and turn of that old country road, and it seemed like it was only yesterday that I was making this trip. All the memories came flooding back to me. Not much had changed since the last time I was there. The property was missing a few chicken coops, but the barns and carriage house were intact.
As I stood there looking at the house, hugged by the mountains, I felt a sense of peace and a deep sense of gratitude for the time that I had spent there throughout the years. In fact, I wish that I could escape to the mountains, where cellphone service is terrible, there is no such thing as high-speed internet, and all of nature’s wonders surround you.
I know now that each moment counts. I try to embrace each day with childlike eyes and see the magic in all things big and small. Those moments on the farm are a piece of my history, a snapshot in time that I will never forget.
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