The fields practically glowed. Sara smiled to herself, she could already imagine the way that she would put them onto canvas, the deep green would carry in it specks of gold to show the way that they shone under the brilliant sun. It was one of those perfect early spring days. Birds were singing in the distant trees, returning from their winter homes. Leaves were starting to bud; little bits of color on the otherwise barren trees. The air was a rich blur of warm and cold, the sun beating down but not quite eradicating the chill still holding to the air.
Home. Sara sighed, her smile fading as quickly as it had come. No matter where she settled, this would always be the place she felt most at home. When her subconscious needed a stand-in for the sense of comfortable familiarity in her dreams, it was here that it turned. This somewhat worn-down old rambling farm house, this porch and swing, with this view of the fields and forest.
The swing swayed slightly, creaking as Leanne settled down beside her. She said nothing, but held out a steaming cup of tea. Lavender and honey, the special blend that Sara’s mother always had on hand for times when they were in need of comfort and healing. Sara and Leanne sat in silence, sipping the tea, looking over the farm, for a long while.
“We were going to live here forever,” Sara found herself breaking the silence, speaking as much to herself as to Leanne. “Paul and I, we had plans to divide the loft of the barn, because we knew we’d want our own spaces, as grown ups. Paul was going to follow Dad’s footsteps, of course, and manage the farm. I was going to sell crafts and paintings on the roadside,” she laughed, “the dreams and plans of ten-year-olds. Neither of us could ever imagine why we’d want to leave here. Not then.”
“Is Paul going to make it out before the move?” Leanne asked gently, taking Sara’s hand in hers and giving a comforting squeeze. Sara shook her head.
“I don’t think so. His last email mentioned a big presentation next week, and Janine has a dance recital this weekend. He is going to help pay for the movers, of course, but…” She shook her head. It had been a short email, and he had said nothing about it but she knew, well, his feelings about the form. He had never quite let go of the resentment he felt for what he felt was an expected obligation to take it over.
“I wish he would listen to me, understand that no one blames him for following where his life led him,” Sara looked at Leanne, “He said his goodbyes to this place ages ago. Goodbye and good-riddance I think. Mom will still coddle him, and Dad will still argue with him, just as well from their condo.
Leanne smiled at that, “And you’re sure that you don’t want to take it on?”
Sara shook her head. It was appealing, and they had talked at length about the possibility, but neither of them were cut out to manage an active farm. Leanne could find a job with one of the local schools, probably, but it would be hard for Sara to find a position like she had at the university. Dreams of turning it into an artist retreat center quickly vanished after an exploration of financial reality.
“It’s time to say goodbye,” it was the first time she had said such a thing out-loud. Leanne wrapped her arm around Sara’s shoulder. They sat like that, the sound of Sara’s parents moving around in the house behind them. One more day and the moving van would make its way down the winding road to the house, and they would say their final farewells.