Many of you experienced a long, rainy Fourth of July weekend, as we did here in the Bluegrass state. Fireworks and festivals were postponed, and barbecues were moved inside. As the days passed, puddles turned into ponds and cabin fever ensued as dreams of blue skies set in. Would it ever stop raining?
My sister and her husband were visiting from Alabama with their three daughters and, needless to say, I was a bit bummed we couldn’t do all the exciting things we had planned outdoors. We still had fun playing dolls and eating ice cream sundaes, but I couldn’t stop thinking of how much fun we could have had watching the Independence Day parade or going for a swim.
At the end of the third day of monsoon-like rain, the last drops finally settled just before sunset. Eager for some fresh air, the family and I walked out the front door to be greeted by the most magnificent rainbow I’ve ever seen. As the sun inched lower toward the horizon, the colors of the rainbow intensified. The beauty was doubled with two arcs across the sky. I told my nieces I’d never seen anything like it.
When I gazed up at the rainbow in awe and saw how much joy it brought to my nieces, I felt like a child again myself. I felt hopeful, excited and even rewarded for “suffering” through the endless rain. Like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” I believed somewhere on the other side was a magical place where all my dreams could come true—or at least a place where my little ideas could turn into big ideas.
As farmers, we all have dreams big and small, but we can find a hundred reasons to put them on the shelf when our everyday farm life gets in the way. There will always be times when crops fail or drought sets in or the rain never seems to stop and you say to yourself, “Next year will be a better time.” This is especially true for aspiring hobby farmers who are waiting to make their first move. The reality is both sides of the rainbow are the same and there’s really no guarantee that tomorrow or next year will be a better time for your plans to unfold. To borrow Henry David Thoreau’s words, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
Don’t wait for a rainbow to appear. The time is now.