“Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset,
Swiftly flow the days;
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflow’rs, Blossoming even as we gaze.
Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset,
Swiftly fly the years;
One season following another, Laden with happiness and tears.”
Fiddler on the Roof, Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Those lyrics and the haunting melody that accompanies them made a huge impression on me the very first time I heard the song years ago. It still does.
One recent morning, I stood in front of my kitchen window sipping my coffee, and I thought again of that song as I watched the sun rise. And I remembered another morning, another cup of coffee, and another sunrise. It was also in November, and it was also near my birthday, but that morning was our very first morning after our very first night in our newly-built farmhouse.
Is it possible that morning was nine years ago?! Swiftly flow the days.
By that morning, we had already lived on the farm for almost two years, but we made our home in a tiny farm cabin while we built our larger, permanent home.
Is it possible that we left town almost eleven years ago?! Swiftly fly the years.
I remember that morning so well. I was preparing to celebrate my 54th birthday, and as I watched the sun rise, I remember thinking that if I got thirty good years at the farm, I would have totally gotten my money’s worth. At the time, it seemed like a reasonable and fair expectation.
Roughly a third of that time is gone. I wonder if it’s too late to renegotiate that deal?
I also remember, as I sipped my coffee that morning, that I hoped I would never, ever take our beautiful Kansas sunrises or sunsets for granted. And while I don’t think I take them for granted, the reality is that there are quite a few that I have missed. And I know that many of those were breathtaking.
And so, as I celebrate my 63rd birthday, I will renew my vow to never take for granted our beautiful country sunrises and sunsets. And I vow to make the most of my – God willing – twenty-something years I have left on the farm.
Because even though twenty years may not sound like much, if I do it right, that may be all I need.
(Our move into our new farmhouse is described in the November chapter of my third book, The Return to the Family Farm.)
Next Week: Mystery Solved