Sunday was our last day in Wisconsin, so we spent some time in the morning getting ready for the trip home. We had plans to spend some nice outside time with family at Grandma and Grandpa’s place that afternoon.
I’m getting to this post kind of late, so I’ll be keeping it short. We all had a really nice afternoon together. There was pool fun for the kids…
…croquet and and bean bags…
…and great conversation.
Amelia made a new friend in Ashley’s puppy, Nova.
Apropos of nothing, I heard Henry for the first time shout the phrase, “No way!” The full context was Grandma asking him if he wanted any pie, and he said, “No way! I want cheese!” When in Wisconsin, I guess.
It had been about 2 years since I had been back in my childhood home, and there are always lots of memories for me there. This time I got to thinking about this spot on the hill behind the old barn where I would sit and sometimes write or read or just stare off into the horizon, daydreaming. A bit like farm boy Luke Skywalker, I suppose. Looking away to what might be.
Like Yoda said, “All his life has he looked away. To the future. The horizon. Never his mind on where he was. What he was doing.”
I went to go visit my old thinking spot with Amelia. I sat there with her for a moment, staring off into the horizon like I often did as a boy.
In that moment, I realized a couple of things. First of all, I was staring off into the West. I wouldn’t have guessed it when I stared at sunsets all those years ago,, but the West is where I call home now. I guess maybe it was calling me even sooner than I thought.
Second, sitting there with my daughter, sharing that moment, I realized that I wasn’t looking away to the future or the horizon. My mind was on where I was and what I was doing. I was enjoying this time with my daughter on the farm where my great grandparents once lived. Amelia is the fifth generation of Schneider to walk here. I felt a sense of past, present and future all at once.
Part of the reason I write this blog every day is to practice being present, and that was a moment where I realized how far I’d come. Back then, I couldn’t have imagined the places I’d someday see, the things I’d do, the people I’d have the privilege to know, and the amazing family I’d get to bring back here.
We walked back to the house and rejoined the group in the yard. Before we all went our separate ways, we took some quick family photos on the old homestead.
When it was time to go, I saw Amelia sitting with Grandpa, and I could tell they were both having trouble saying goodbye. We all were.
But it was getting late, and we had packing to do and early departure the next morning. We said so long for now, headed back to Rosemary’s house, got packed and called it early night. A good night’s sleep, and then, Westbound and down. To the future. The horizon.