"If You Build It, They Will Come"
Yesterday my sweet old classmate friend, Jo, posted a request to describe our day. I wrote "spontaneous"...and it was.
I awoke at 5AM yesterday morning, put on the coffee, grabbed a cup and walked out into the backyard. Coffee cup in hand, I stood there in the morning chill, admiring that golden egg shaped moon and listened to the train whistle as it made its way west, following Highway 60 like a puppy follows its mama.
Coffee finished, I returned to the house, plopped into my chair, fired up the computer and began reading the news....accounts of man's overnight savagery to man, of political analysis (slanted each way, depending on the writer's own political views) and crime reports and the latest doings of the Kardashians and Biebers and Taylor Swift.
As the morning wore on that peaceful bout of serenity out in the early morning faded away and the small irritants of life replaced it, kinda like the grains of sand that get in your shoe no matter how much you shake them out.
So, I jumped in the car and went out to run some errands. And the day was absolutely perfect....temperature in the high 70's...no need for the air conditioner....you just lowered both front windows and let the cool morning breeze flow in to cool your brow.
So, I headed over to Glendale, intent on finding a little health food store that sold a low carb bread I wanted to try. I drove east, toward 75th avenue, then turned south. Just as I got near Bethany Home Road I was pleasantly surprised to come upon an island of serenity amidst the urban sprawl. The "island" of serenity was called Tolmachoff Farms, one of those "still working" farms that Arizona, and particularly Phoenix, is famous for.
I had read about Tolmachoff Farms but had never been there. The family farm has been in operation for four generations in Glendale and, unlike so many who sold their farms to developers, the Tolmachoffs were hanging on to theirs for awhile more.
When I neared the place I quickly saw how they were doing it. They operate a fruit and vegetable stand. Big beefy tomatoes and cucumbers and whatever vegetables and fruits are seasonal. And then, for autumn, the pumpkins and gourds are on prominent display.
And on this day, yellow school buses were dispensing children out that front folding front door like Peds candies, the chldren whooping and hollering with the excitement of a school field trip....a ride on a pastoral time machine..back to a time and a place where most of their grannies and great grannies awoke early to feed the goats and the pigs and the horses before going off to a one room school house.
And the Tomachoff's, perhaps in some last gasp effort to hold on to a way of life, have built that time machine for child and adult alike to bask in for a few hours.
They've altered it a bit....they've laid out corn mazes and bike tracks and bouncy houses and tractor pulled kiddie cars. But the animals are still there; the horses and goats and baby pigs. And, while the pumpkins are not as pretty as the ones you get in the grocery store, there "home-grown" and you pluck them yourself and how much better is that!
When I got ready to leave, I stood by the car and looked all about me. In the distance I could see the urban sprawl, the cookie cutter houses surrounding this small island of farmland, a 360 degree panorama of urban clutter, with the Tolmachoff Farm seemingly "circling the wagons" in a last stand against modern "progress".
As I got back in the car I marveled that the morning breeze was blowing back the sounds of the distant freeway traffic, back upon itself, so that all I could hear in the cool late morning were squeals of joy and laughter of little kids, delighted at finding the right pumpkin for the front porch, elated at being able to pet the goats and baby pigs and horses in the corral, and of giggles as they made their way through the corn maze.
And, as mother nature often recycles her moments, I regained the serenity of that early morning cup of coffee out in my backyard, hours ago.
And I was not alone....the folks out on the grounds of the farm this delicious morning were seeking their own little patch of serendipity...a little time traveling back to an age when man was a bit less savage, when the world was a simpler and perhaps happier place.
"If you build it they will come....for it's money they have but peace they lack".....