About a year ago, I made a quilt for my Dad who has Alzheimer's Disease. It had a variety of images on it - photographs that he and I picked out that were meaningful for him.
The black and white picture at the top of this post is one of the photographs that he picked out. He's riding a cart attached to his goat at one of the farms where he grew up.
I can only imagine how much fun that would have been for a child to be riding around in the country with not a care in the world. Through the years, my dad shared many memories of times that were spent at farms. It seemed like these some of the best memories that helped sustain him...even as an adult.
Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love,
the things you are,
the things you never want to lose.
~From the television show "The Wonder Years"
Now, as an adult, I live on a small hobby farm. Many years ago, I had sheep, chickens, horse, and turkeys. When Sophia and Olivia were adopted, the animals were here.
Sophia watching the sheep in the pasture.
However, circumstances changed and a farm auction was the end of the livestock. They went to new homes. It was a difficult and painful day.
Thankfully, in 2008, a miniature horse and pony came to live at the farm. The girls are thrilled to have "outdoor animals" again.
Olivia introducing Bailey and Hoss to one another.
They were adopted from the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation
and did not know each other prior to living here.
I'm hoping that the experiences Sophia and Olivia are having now will be pleasant memories when they are adults...and sustain them on days that easy as well as those that are more challenging.
And even if you were in some prison,
the walls of which let none of the sounds of the world come to your senses -
would you not then still have your childhood,
that precious, kingly possession,
that treasure-house of memories?
~Rainer Maria Rilke