As silly as it sounds, stopping by this little farm was one of the highlights of our trip for me. It was just behind the campground we were staying in, and Matthew’s grandmother had made friends with the owners. On our last day there, she insisted that we pop in and take a look.
At first glance, it looks just like any other small farm. There aren’t acres and acres of vegetation and an abundance of large equipment lurking about. Instead, it’s a few rows of this and that here and there. There’s a small shed right up front where the owner is working away. Turns out, she’s packing boxes for her subscription clients. Moonstone Farm offers a monthly subscription where locals can purchase a box of whatever the farm has ready at that time. The owner drives the packages into Anchorage where buyers pick up a box of fresh, home-grown goodies. I think that’s phenomenal.
Further into the property, you come across a field of the most beautiful flowers you’ve ever seen. In addition to fruits and vegetables, they also grow and sell flowers to a local flower shop. This is where I took one of my favorite photos from the trip. As I stood gazing at these gorgeous flowers nestled just beneath the Alaskan mountains, I realized something. At first, I expected this place to be a traditional farm – one raising corn or peas or beans. Not even minutes into our tour, I’d already been blown away by a subscription system and a field of flowers. In that moment, I was reminded that not everything has to fit in a nice, neat package. Even a farm can take on a million different faces, so anything else in life could too. We don’t have to firmly be one thing or another. We can be a combination of the things most suitable to us.
After hesitantly leaving the flower field, we walked on around to the chicken coop. The owners’ granddaughter excitedly pulled me further into the backyard to show me her cat and the baby chicks. She could hardly contain her excitement as she told me about them and showed me little tricks for doing this and that. I must say, watching those baby chicks line up for a photo was quite entertaining. As I sat and listened to story after story from her, I realized how important it is to let children be a part of the things we do. It was evident how much she’d learned from her grandparents and you could see that she was eager to learn more.
We stood and talked with the family for a bit longer and although I was listening, it was hard not to get swept up in my surroundings. I wanted to sit there for hours gazing out at the simplicity of this lifestyle. I could imagine myself sipping coffee on their porch, overlooking the vegetables growing out front. I imagined enjoying that view of the mountains while tending the flowers. I felt the cool breeze and envisioned what the winters must feel like. It made me long for a similar lifestyle, even though I knew it was only temporary.
Matthew and I would be returning home later that day, and that reality sank in as we walked away. I was, of course, happy to return home for many reasons. Although, I knew I’d miss this place. I’d miss the limited cell phone service and mild temperatures of the Alaskan summer. I’d miss the clean, crisp air and the beautiful views surrounding you every where you went. I’d miss a simpler life with easy going days filled with adventure. It was as we walked away from this little farm that I confirmed something I’d thought since we arrived — I want to make it a point to travel more. I want to be sure I see the world and experience all the things. I also knew that I wanted to start making some changes to my daily life back home. I wanted things to be simpler and more relaxed. It was at that point that I started making plans to ever so slightly alter the trajectory of where my life was headed.
I tell this story not to make anyone jealous of exciting Alaskan adventures or quaint little farms. Instead, I tell this story to show that we can design the life that we want to live. If something doesn’t feel quite right or if you find yourself longing for something different, go after that thing. Make little changes here and there so that you life looks how you want it to. The months since I’ve been home from Alaska have looked very different than the months before. It’s not because I made any radical changes. Instead, I altered a few things just enough to feel a difference in my life. Most likely, no one can even notice a difference from the outside. Nonetheless, sometimes the smallest of changes can make a gigantic difference.
The fact of the matter is, there’s nothing that we can’t do in this lifetime. Sometimes it’s about altering the big ideas such that they fit into our current lives, or sometimes it’s about going for that big dream to make it a reality. Whichever is better suited for you, do it! I definitely don’t have a beautiful farm back in Monroe, Louisiana. However, I do have a simpler life that gives me some of the same feelings I felt at Moonstone Farm. And I didn’t have to move mountains to accomplish that. What small thing can you do today to make you life just a little bit better? I encourage you to really think about that and see what you might can do to create a life that you love.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity to have had this Alaskan adventure. The trip to this farm made me look at my daily life a little differently and I’m just as thankful for that nudge as I am for the chance to see some different scenery. You can read the overview of our trip here.