Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spirit Creek's Song

The view from the front door after a summer thunderstorm - beautiful!

The entire story of how I came to be living at Spirit Creek Farm is a remarkable one - too personal and wonderful to cast into the electronic chasm of the Internet. It is a result of direct guidance, similar to the story of how Duke came to live here.

What I am willing to share is this:

I woke up one Saturday morning knowing I had to take a drive through the Flint Hills. I did not know why. I knew only that I needed to go that very morning. Because I followed that urging, I found what is now my home.

At the time, I owned my house in Topeka, and had no plans to move or sell. The idea of ever living in the country, of owning a little piece of land again, had slipped far toward the bottom of the list. That life long dream had been growing steadily fainter and further away.

This particular Saturday morning I took a leisurely drive through the Flint Hills, marveling that so much of Kansas was beautiful, that there was tall grass left untouched. I often took this drive as a way to decompress and relax. I did not believe I could afford any property in the area. I did not often see a For Sale sign so to find a small home for sale was a surprise. I wondered why I had never noticed the little white house sitting off the road, next to the creek. It was a beautiful setting for a home. A rustic gravel drive led down to the house, situated beneath many mature trees, on a flat, manicured lawn. A clear prairie stream circled two thirds of the yard. Everything appeared in excellent repair and the grounds were well maintained. I had no intention of moving but I was curious. I wrote down the realtor's number and later made an appointment to see the little house on the prairie.

After the thirty minute drive from Topeka, the realtor discovered he did not have a key to the house. I looked through the front window. It was not my dream home by any stretch of the imagination, but it appeared spotlessly clean and in good repair. It was a downgrade from the house I was living in at the time. But I had lived in far worse places in the early days of minimum wage jobs, when my daughter was a little girl. It was not the house, but the beautiful property that I fell in love with immediately. It was enchanting.

As we walked around the yard, and the circular drive, I was uncharacteristically silent. A tremendous excitement was building in the pit of my stomach as I recognized the place I had been waiting for my entire life. The little creek was absolutely beautiful. The limestone rocks were washed to a white brilliance and the water was as clear as a mountain stream. Small fish darted in the crystal water. Crawdads zipped backwards at any disturbance. In several places the water ran over a wide expanse of rock. The musical rush of the creek spoke deeply to the weary places in my spirit.

The lawn had a well tended look to it, as did the trees. There was a large garden spot and a compost bin half full of compost. There was a swing set, a fire pit, a patio, a well, a very large shop/garage. There were six acres of land with the house. It was a mild February day, and the peace of the entire area washed through me like a welcome ray of silent sunlight. I was stunned that such a lovely place was even in my price range. This would be a wonderful place for my son, city boy that he was.

"Well, Jackie, what do you think?" It was The Question from the realtor. Had it been a waste of his time driving me out here? Was I genuinely interested, or just sight seeing?

What did I think?

I stood still for a moment and bowed my head, letting my mind slip into neutral. I can not often go there, but the times I have been able to do this, powerful things have happened in my life. The noisy, troublesome side of my brain, continued to chatter. "You are an idiot! You only have five dollars in your savings account. You have not been planning for this. How you can buy a second house?" That constant blabbing was mercifully relegated to the background as I stood silent.

All I had to do was write a check for $100, a check that would not be cashed until if or when the sale went through. I could bet $100 right then and there that I could somehow buy this beautiful little piece of timbered land, nestled in the bend of a clear water prairie creek.

"Are you ready to make an offer?" the realtor asked.

As I stood silent, motionless, the rush of water over the limestone stones caught my attention. There were three different shallows, each merrily making its own distinctive tones. Energy was building in earnest as I considered the possibility. The sound of the creek built in intensity, until it became supernaturally loud in my ears, and the energy rising in my entire body burst out with a resounding "Yes!"

It was as if the creek said yes, not me. Yes, indeed.

Even more amazing are the details of things that had to take place in order for me to purchase the place. Coincidence and good fortune converged with a decision I had made almost eighteen years earlier that enabled me to buy. In addition, within six months, I had the money to pay cash for the adjoining twenty acres.

Of course, I had to make double house payments for four years, since I was unable to sell the house in town. But that is another story - a scary story. I have never regretted the decision made for me by a little prairie creek.

Post Script: I began writing this on Thursday, but could not seem to get a clear idea of what I was saying until Sunday, April 5, when I finally published this post. It just occurred to me that yesterday April 5, 2009 was exactly ten years from the day I moved to Spirit Creek Farm. I think the Creek is trying to tell me something!

Little house on the prairie.


Anonymous said...


Li'l Ned said...

that is SO COOL

Me Plus Three said...

Well, I think you have an Amazing piece of land. And the house just seems to fit. All quietly tucked away to enjoy the surroundings:) And I don't think it is so much a coincidence. Sometimes things happen for a reason, even if it is one that can't be truly explained!!
Can't wait to come visit again, it is beautiful!