I was going to start this by saying “Everyone has a home away from home, a place where they feel that they belong, where they travel in their mind when they think of their ‘happy place’…” but then I wondered. Does everyone have that place?
Perhaps not, but for hundreds of lucky women – young and old – around the world, there is a place where they belong.
A home away from home.
I went to summer camp to broaden my horizons and for a bit of an adventure. I can honestly say that my time working at Road’s End Farm in NH, USA has changed my life.
I can’t remember now what I expected from that place, but what I got was a slice of heaven on earth.
There are so many things that I would never have known, horses I’d never have ridden, people I’d never have met, lives that would never have touched mine, had I not turned up at the end of the road 11 years ago with a backpack and a dream.
I would never have known that home could be half a world away, yet feel like I’d been there forever.
I wouldn’t have known the joy of a herd in full flight.
I would never have met the other half of my soul in equine form…
Or have had the chance to meet my special little ponygirl, sassing her way through life with a spring in her step and flowers in her hair.
I would never have met these amazing, inspiring, wonderful people who I am so lucky to call my friends.
And I wouldn’t have found my second family.
Road’s End Farm is a magical place that has changed me for the better in more ways than I can count.
It’s truly my home away from home, and yet it’s more than that. It’s a place where I feel free.
And I’m not alone in that. Those of us who have been there, spent time there, know how its magic works. We know what kind of a place it is.
It’s a place where we run and jump and ride and love on our horses.
Where we dress up in stupid outfits and read silly fiction and write funny stories for reading at night.
Where we share our deepest, darkest secrets in whispers after lights out, or on the back field, sleeping out under a blanket of stars.
Where we laugh, and hug, and work, and play; where we learn about values and respect and hard work.
Where a week can pass by in the blink of an eye, and a summer at the drop of a hat.
Where we dance while we do the dishes, and sing on the way to swimming, and where many hands make light work.
Where we climb mountains, and paddle down rivers, and haul hay, and lug water buckets.
Where we find our kindred spirits, our soul sisters, and without even realising it at the time, we find ourselves.
We meet ourselves as we truly are, as we are meant to be. Free to be ourselves, unfettered by social convention and others’ opinions.
And we drag our feet to slow the circles down.
The farm is half a world away from where I am and yet I am always there, watching the horses run, reveling in their freedom as I continue to pursue my own…
Knowing that I can always go home, to the farm at the end of the road.
If only everyone in the world could have a place like this, what a place this world could be.