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A Full Heart

Thanksgiving has come and gone. Christmas is just around the corner. 2021 is coming to a close.

I find this ridiculously hard to believe. To top it off, Cooper's Crossroad has now been at Elm Farm for 6 months. A herd is established, fencing up, hay in the loft and safe and secure shelters are in place for the horses and chickens.

And...Cooper's Crossroad Farming For Resilience programs have wrapped up the fall sessions. We had the joy of working with three schools : Symonds Elementary, Keene High School - North Campus, and Ashuelot Valley Academy. Feed back from participants and administration was overwhelmingly positive. The following are quotes from several participants :

"When I am at home or school I have a ton of anxiety. When I am at Elm Farm I have anxiety, but I can push through it and face my fears." - E.

"Almost every morning I wake up in the worst mood because of the problems I have. I wake up with an attitude or am stressed out. One Thursday morning my Mom and I were arguing and the whole morning I was upset crying until I remembered we are going to the farm today. I know this will make my day so much better...what I am trying to say is going there (Elm Farm) makes me so happy every time I see the beautiful unique animals. It just makes me feel a way I haven't felt in a long time...If farm day was every day I wouldn't miss a single day. I hope one day I can do exactly what you do." - B.

As some of you know, I often ride Cooper between Dusty Dog Farm and Elm Farm. Some of the route is on pavement. There is no doubt that roads in New England need regular maintenance and repair. Summer brings repair to many cracks in the paved roads. The cracks are sealed with an asphalt substance. By fall these cracks are long hardened, but still clearly visible.

As I rode home one early morning on Cooper lulled by the rhythmic sound of hooves, I stared at the repaired cracks in the road. Cooper did too. He walked carefully around and over the sealed cracks.

Maybe that is what we all need. Goodness knows we all have cracks in our roads of life. Sometimes we are lucky enough to have seals put on the cracks. The effect of weather, wear and tear on roads of our lives is real. Farming For Resilience can be a seal for many. My heart is full when I see the horses laying down that seal, providing an opportunity for growth and healing.

So when you sense cracks in someone's road, take a lesson from Cooper and Farming For Resilience, step gentle and be mindful. The reward in doing so: a full heart.

Best to all as winter pulls us in!

With kindness and compassion, Christina

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