I had the wonderful opportunity to spend a weekend with my cousin at our family farm last month in Hemmingford, Quebec.
This farm has been in our family for 5 generations. My great-great grandfather purchased the land after traveling from Ireland in the mid 1800’s. Going back those five generations means that the land was purchased before Canada had even become a country! Since the land was purchased from the crown, there have been two farm houses on the property. One log house that was built early on and the current one that was built over a hundred years ago in 1912.There was something indescribable about standing on the land that my grandfather was raised on. The land that my great-grandfather had worked on. The land that my great-great grandfather had purchased after traveling the ocean for a better life.During my time at the farm, I was profoundly aware that I was touching the same things and walking the same land that generations of our family had.
I was touched anew at how deep my love for the past and everything that reminds me of it is.
In the house, I was in awe of the small rooms and their contrast to the excessive space people feel they need today.In the barns, I was consumed thinking about the blood, sweat and probably tears that must have gone into building them and the work that had happened in them each day. The same work that provided food for the table and the few treasured possessions they had.As I quietly walked around, I was deeply aware of everything my ancestors had done that played apart in shaping the life I have today. I was humbled to think of all they had endured.They had no idea, that one day, over 175 years later, I would be walking that land thinking of them.
Walking it while filled with gratitude… and awe… and love for all that they had accomplished to better their lives and those of their families.
No wonder I have long felt a connection to things and people of the past. To things that remind me of farmhouses and hard work and a simpler time.To paint this is chipped and worn from the hands that have touched it.
They all represent a lifestyle and work ethic that is rare to see today.
I will forever be thankful to those in my past who had the perseverance to work hard for a better life, while enjoying the simple things that money couldn’t buy.