A picture of perseverance, Grand Oak Herb Farm, Bancroft, Michigan
We need guidance in our pursuit of health, home, and happiness. It begins after birth with a nudge of the nipple. It’s a wonder to see a newborn nurse. Loving touch—the primary bond between mother and child.
By sight we learn approval with a smile, disapproval with a frown. The shake and nod of our head may bring joy or sadness. Symbols, sounds, colors, and scents order our world in structures of safety.
When grown, we claim our piece of Earth, bought by the sweat of our brow, groomed to suit our heart’s desire. Be it a high-rise condo or a cottage, we navigate our steps by visual landmarks that lead us home. There, our address signifies what earthly possessions matter most.
As we age, forks in the road appear without an arrow. What are we to do? Stand still, or risk taking the wrong path? Patience is hard-earned virtue that seems to waste time. However, the wait allows us to catch our breath, review where we’ve been and consider where we’re going before the next signal leads us onward.
Such has been my situation this summer. I relate to our cat Mo, his signs of slowing down. I cannot lift a five-gallon bucket of compost onto the back of the golf cart as I did two years ago, so I fill it half full. One of many adaptations.
I also determined to allow more writing time in future summer months. Since I must grow flowers, food, and lavender too, I asked a friend to consider managing the fields. She said yes. A wonderful sign.
With this relief, I scampered off with my Friends of Herbs from Seven Ponds Nature Center to Grand Oak Herb Farm in Bancroft. Beulah, the owner, fresh as a spring pea, greeted us in the stifling morning heat. As we toured her farm, I marveled at her stamina, scale of her vision, and skill for propagating herbs and flowers in a giant greenhouse.
“How do you do all this?” I asked.
“I love my work,” she said. “This is the farm’s 36th year. My sons are a big help with social media.”
Could she spare one?
Within her air-conditioned rescued barn she rebuilt with her sons, Beulah and her staff served a delicious herbal luncheon. Afterward, she leaned against the counter in the gift shop and answered more questions. I wanted to suggest she sit, but didn’t want to offend a woman older than myself.
As we left the grounds, a gray-headed man driving a large tractor approached us. “Do you ladies know where Beulah is?”
“Are you her husband?” I asked.
“Yes ma’am.”
“Nice to meet you. She’s in the gift shop.”
The tractor rolled toward the building, a walker hung on the back.
“That’s the spirit. Never give up!” said one of my herb buddies.
Dear Reader, it’s a wonder see folk who love their work and learn to lean on whatever is at hand. A sign of what is to come.