Farm country? Yes!
Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 8:00 pm
By: By Lisa Smartt
I’m proud to live in a farm community. As a speaker, I’m blessed to travel all around the United States. But I have never traveled to a place that I would trade for our little piece of heaven right here in northwest Tennessee.
Yes, I’ve been to Denver. The mountains were breathtaking. The snow was picturesque. But it wasn’t the same as watching a farmer throw his hand up in appreciation as he pulled his tractor onto Highway 54. Denver didn’t hold a candle to sitting on our front porch watching the deer graze. Yes, I know there are deer in Colorado. Lots of deer. Yes, I’m sure there’s a house with a porch where one could watch the Colorado deer. But that experience would set us back a few million dollars more than our country place in northwest Tennessee.
A few weeks ago I was in Albuquerque. I drove through the snowcapped Sandia Mountains at sunrise. Amazing beauty. But I missed the daffodils. I missed the excitement of farmers starting to spray the fields and prepare for planting. I missed the green of Tennessee.
I love to travel to Texas as I have family and friends there. My heart is filled with appreciation for the Lone Star state. Recently I was able to take my mom to San Antonio for a special event. San Antonio is one of the loveliest towns in Texas. The River Walk and The Alamo provide backdrop for one of our most historically significant places. But I never saw a man in overalls talkin’ about what he was planting this year. San Antonio is lovely in every way. Just not home.
There are places in the United States that are more financially prosperous than our area. I know that. I was recently in an area of the country that is booming with growth, prosperity, high salaries in high tech jobs and an ever-increasing demand for high-end services. But I missed the Dollar Store. I missed unpretentious coffee and the comfort of hearing a southern drawl. Mostly I missed the deep connection that rural communities have with the land.
I like living in an area where someone says at Wednesday night prayer meeting, “Pray for rain. The farmers are hurting.” or “We’re thankful for the harvest. It’s been a good year and we’re grateful.” I like the fact that my boys are growing up with a keen understanding that farming is never done by a man or a woman or a family. It’s done as a cooperative effort with the power of a creator who told us to manage the land well.
My boys know that corn on the cob doesn’t come from the freezer. They understand that bacon doesn’t come from the store. They know that chicken dinners start with a real chicken in a big barn with a lot of other real chickens. And those real chickens pay a high price for our nuggets, too.
But they don’t just know it with the intellect. They experience it. Up close and personal. If you’ve lived here all your life, it might be easy to forget how blessed you are. Maybe you dream of a life of excitement far from the farms and fields. Not me. My dreams are firmly planted in the rich soil of northwest Tennessee. I’m blessed.
For more information about Lisa Smartt, visit her website, lisasmartt.com.
Published in The Messenger 3.7.12