Cappers Farmer Blogs > Old Dog, New Tricks

The Place Where We Live

Mary ConleyDear friends,

I'm supposed to be writing about rebuilding the barn, but I guess I have blogger's block! Instead, I want to tell you about a new word I learned while studying Spanish recently, as it has become stuck in my mind. It is querencia, and it means the wanting place, a safe place, or where one feels at home. A place from which one’s strength is drawn. I find it curious that I have two of those places, although they are as different as night and day.

I've noticed people tend to favor where they've grown up. They've become accustomed to its unique and familiar ways. It is where they feel comfortable. Someone is always asking us if we'll ever move to our farm, and recently I heard myself saying that I doubt it, but it would be my preference. I'm wondering if I love the farm so much because I began my life's journey on one. Maybe that is why on one of my first nights on the farm, I mumbled, “I’m happy” as I was falling asleep.

Soon after we married, we moved to Omaha so Larry could attend a trade school. City life was very foreign to us compared to the farm and a small Iowa town of about 400, but we ended up adjusting to suburbia and raising our family here. I recently asked Larry, "Now, why was it that we stayed in Omaha instead of going back home?" Jobs, we decided. Then, five years ago when circumstances allowed, we bought our little farm. It was just supposed to be an interesting land investment, but quite unexpectedly, querencia set in.

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A typical Nebraska landscape three miles from our farm.

Jim Crosley, a farm friend, who had recently been to the Rockies, told us that he thinks the mountains are beautiful but he prefers to be able to see for miles and miles. Not long after, we visited his farm, and you can do just that! We also learned that he grew up there and was raised in the very same house! Querencia!

I recently read a quote by Willa Cather, who also loved the Nebraska prairie. Please forgive me, our mountain-loving friends, as I dedicate it to Jim and other farm friends who understand it deeply.

“Wire fences might mark the end of a man’s pasture, but they could not shut in his thoughts as mountains and forests can” – "The Song of the Lark" by Willa Cather

Where is your querencia? I'm quite certain mine is anywhere with Larry! Aw-w-w