There are days when we do not listen to the news and live blissfully isolated in our creek valley, yet, there are other days when I curiously check up on what might be happening over the hilltops and beyond our immediate horizons.

There are days when the children do not call, and we do not need to leave the farm to run errands, and it seems as though our entire world is cocooned by the rustling fall leaves, the turkey clucking up on the hillside and the deer snorting in the woods behind the cabin.

But then I look up at the sky, and I realize that the clouds slowly sailing by overhead have just passed over our neighbors’ farms in the uplands, and are now headed off beyond our valley to pass over other farms, other towns and even cities that I can hardly imagine.

It seems to me that the clouds are really somewhat like my words, these words that I have been writing every week for the past six years.

I have been sharing our world, our adventures, our lessons in learning, with words that I have sent out to you, my family of readers, whose front porches, breakfast tables and living rooms I do not know and really can hardly even imagine.

Yesterday, a wonderful family of folks who have been reading our stories stopped by – mothers, brothers, fathers and sisters, some urban, some country, all drove down the creek road for a visit.

As they got out of their cars, they hugged and smiled, exclaiming that their gathering was like a family reunion of sorts.

They had read our stories and wanted to see and learn for themselves, taking particular note of the solar- powered chicken coop door. One brother already had solar panels stored in his basement, just waiting to be put up. He eagerly spoke with Greg, and as he left, we could tell that he was energized, knowing that he really could generate useful electricity
from the sun.

Now, you might think that the sharing I am writing about is how I share my stories, or how Greg and I shared our life with our visitors, but with a smile, I must tell you no.

Yes, yesterday we certainly did share our small cabin, our under-construction log home, the greenhouse, the farm animals and the creek, but our visitors gave us an unexpected gift in return. They gave us the chance to see beyond the many chores we have not yet completed, the raised beds not yet weeded, our log house not yet finished, and to look at our off-grid world through their wondering eyes. How secluded, how peaceful, how quiet, they told us, over and over again.

The day is darkening, and the afternoon breeze has died down. The clouds float, in an unmoving blanket, across the creek valley sky overhead, but I know that the blanket reaches far beyond our hillside horizons.

I know that it covers the family who stopped by yesterday. I know that it reaches out to you, as comforting as the call of the turkey up on the hill, the chortle of the chickens as they hunker down to roost, and the evening flight of the pigeons as they circle in formation, stark white against the blanketed sky.

What a special gift to share our world through the eyes of another. Thank you, dear readers. Thank you.

Christine Tailer is an attorney and former city dweller who moved several years ago, with her husband, Greg, to an off-grid farm in south-central Ohio. Visit them on the web at straightcreekvalleyfarm.com.