One year ago I looked into her eyes, I squeezed her hands just a bit and I said with all authority and conviction, “I do.” She returned the affirmation and we began what I now refer to as “the great adventure.”
Before getting married and moving back to rural, middle Georgia, I lived in Brooklyn, NY. The life was fast paced and there was always so much going on. I prided myself on giving meaning to Ol’ Blue Eyes’ lyrics. With a firm handshake and a toothy grin I had said on multiple occasions to people, “if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere,” and by all accounts I had made it. I had a beautiful apartment that had recently been renovated. I was just a block from the train. I had a group of supportive, fun friends. I had a job I was happy with. I was never lacking for artistic inspiration.
But at night, I went to bed alone. My other two bedrooms echoed in their emptiness and leaving the lights did nothing to relieve my solitude. The TV offered little distraction as it became boring and I felt no more connected to the cast of Law and Order than I did the man in the moon.
Several big decisions later though I was standing across from her promising to have and to hold until death do us part. And even those words could not adequately convey to her how much I welcomed this new part of life.
Within days we were at home on Odom’s Idle Acres figuring out how we could make it not quite so idle and how we could breathe life back into our otherwise normal existence. Our faith was strong and our determination was bursting from our beings. There was clearly room for a large garden. We could easily see ourselves with chickens. We simply knew that the life we had now formed together was going to be one that incorporated our dreams, our desires, our hopes, our learned lessons and our love for the world around us.
In short order we had planted several gardens. We had built a coop and purchased laying hens. We had reexamined our dependence on the grocery store and processed foods. We had redone our budget to live more modestly without sacrificing the fun in life. And through it all our connection to each other continued to grow.
And now one year later we still walk our land, dreaming, plotting, imagining. We look forward to being blessed with a family of our own and the opportunity to see them grow as we did; independently but with the support of our friends and family. The acres aren’t so idle anymore and we can see how God has blessed us and continues to bless us.
And now – one year later – I sit here at my keyboard thinking back to the nights that ended with smiles and even the ones that ended without such pleasure and I realize that this great adventure has all led up to this; this one moment. The moment when I can see that life is what you put into it. You plant a seed, you get a crop. In this last year our seeds have turned to crops, and now, holding each other’s hands, we wait for our harvest.