The Place Where My Heart Is

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It was the crack of dawn on June 21st which used to be one my utmost favorite days of the year. As I woke, I could smell the comforting familiar scents that I had longed for all year. I could hear the calm yet bustling sounds of chatter coming from family members whom I loved with every fiber of my being. And, I could see several items which represented an abundance of memories from summers past. They say home is where your heart is and my heart couldn’t have been more at home than there on my godparents’ farm. My godparents’ farm was undeniably the best place for a teenager to spend their summers learning, growing, and finding their true self.

The overall farm included an average sized yet quaint home, several barns and outbuildings, multiple cross-fenced pastures with ponds and streams, a large herd of cattle, a few horses, one dog, several oil rigs, and a mother-in-law unit all nestled amongst a hundred acres of what my family and I considered heaven on earth. Each room of the main house, having its own style, added to my sense of peace and tranquility. The room which would be mine for the next three months was full of small trinkets, numerous Teacher of the Year awards and large boxes of decorations stacked from floor to ceiling. These items were from my godmother’s years of teaching within the public school system. Even though I would’ve thoroughly enjoyed staying in bed all day soaking up my summer freedom while being encompassed by a love-filled homemade quilt, I could hear my godfather saying, “Arlene, we’re burning daylight”. I knew it was time to get up and make my way down to the farm for what promised to be a day full of hard work with numerous opportunities to learn life’s character-building lessons.

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Once dressed, with a homemade biscuit in my hand and Finn, the loyal farm dog, at my side, I skipped my way down to the main gate. As I whistled an old spunky tune, I smiled at how happy I was. I was as happy as a duck in water. The gate to the main area of the farm was as large and heavy as an elephant. I always had to climb up and over it rather than make any attempt at opening that large beast. As my feet hit the dusty road on the other side of the fence, I was instantly transferred into a world of agricultural bliss. I could smell the cows, horses, grain, oil, and even the apples rotting under the nearby trees. The air was crisp and clear as the sky was blue. The silos were as tall as skyscrapers. The pastures had a pleasant smell from the mixture of grasses blended with a not so pleasant smell of manure. The cows and horses smelled like a summer dust storm blowing in. I would always end up with a mouth full of hair and dust, which to my surprise, would never bother me. As the cows would run back and forth, kicking and bucking, I would be reminded of cars on a typical chaotic day back home during rush hour traffic. The oil rigs were always moving up and down like a toy drinking bird. They were as quiet as a mouse, yet they had a pungent smell of grease and oil like walking into a local auto shop full of old, broken-down cars.

My list of chores was plentiful. From moving grain around to counting cattle, my horse Buck and I would be busy right up until the sun would start to set. I would begin my adventures by saddling up Buck. At times, he could be as stubborn as a mule. I loved this horse. He always made me laugh, and he could always bring a smile to my face. To me, he never seemed to have a hair of meanness on him. But he got his name from one time when he bucked my godmother off while she was riding him. She fell, breaking her back which caused her problems from that moment on. Even with this on my mind each time I saddled him, I was thankful for his kind manner towards me and the opportunities I had with him out on the farm where I was free to be alone, while filled with the utmost trust from my godfather and with the open land to learn and grow.

Buck and I would spend most of the day making our way around the farm doing our chores. We first had to pass by the mother-in-law unit which was old as dirt and smelled like a moldy wet towel on a hot summer’s day. We would then quickly approach the first of many pastures. Depending on where the cattle were that morning, we would have to move them from one pasture to another. From there, I had to follow the fence line around the outskirts of the farm counting the remainder of the herd. I had to keep an eye out for calves that might have been separated from their moms or older cows that were left behind. I needed to make sure none of them had become sick or injured. If I found a cow in need of assistance, I would have to ride back to the barns in order to find my godfather and tell him what I had found. As Buck and I made our way around the farm counting the cattle, I was also in charge of making sure the ponds were full as well as making sure there were no points along the fences that needed to be tended to. One especially fun thing I was able to do in and around my chores was stopping for a snack of an apple or a handful of fresh ripe berries. I would also grab a drink from the cool crisp natural spring waters. Buck thoroughly enjoyed our snack and water breaks as well.

I cannot express, enough, how my godparents’ farm was undeniably the best place for a teenager to spend their summers learning, growing, and finding their true self. All things grow with love and I grew more during those summer months on the farm than any other time in my life. No other experiences this world has to offer can even come close to what watching cattle graze, seeing oil rigs tying to seek oil and saving a calf from possible death can do for a person’s growth. These are things you can’t appreciate until you’ve experienced them. They were moments well spent finding myself, learning to give back, learning how to spend time alone, feeling trusted and important, while at the same time being one with nature. The feeling at the end of the day of accomplishment was worth its weight in gold. I simply would not be who I am today if I had not spent my summers on my godparents’ farm. Farming is in my roots.

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The Place Where My Heart Is. (2023, March 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 14, 2024, from
“The Place Where My Heart Is.” Edubirdie, 01 Mar. 2023,
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