I was driving home after covering World Dairy Expo for four days, and after passing through my ancestral stomping grounds in northwest Dane County I couldn’t help but gaze at the fields and forests that my relatives used to farm. It then occurred to me that I was not living the life I wanted to.
In fact, everything about my life except for one constant was the complete antithesis of what I’d imagined my world would become. Such a realization would make some people break down and move across the country in a frantic fashion in order to “find” themselves again. Me? Not so much. It was a mere reminder that I’m not the one in charge.
You see, when I was a young fräulein on the cusp of adulthood, I wanted to be a dairy farmer in the worst way. I lived, breathed and slept cows, and would often weep and wail about how unfair it was that I didn’t grow up on a farm. The plan for my life didn’t stop there, however. I was not only going to be a dairy farmer, but I was going to take over my family’s former dairy farm (which hadn’t been operable in some years), marry a nice Catholic boy of German ancestry and together we’d build an incredible herd of Jersey cows together.
Now, if you told me at the age of fifteen that I would eventually become a dairywoman with Jerseys but the other criteria would be completely digressive from everything I’d planned out so carefully, I would have laughed in your face, flipped my hair and walked away. However, with time, prayer and working tirelessly to cultivate the tiny bit of patience I have, I have learned to embrace serendipity.
You see, everything I wanted as a teenager was not to be, and it wasn’t until afterward that I became comfortable with that. There was a greater plan in place for my life. I never imagined that after college I would move nearly four hours north of the farm my dad called home, marry a Lutheran boy of largely Norwegian ancestry and learn to like his Holsteins … but there seems to come a time when, as all of these things fall into place, you learn to roll with the punches and discover that where you are, right here and right now, is exactly where you are destined to be – and come to know that there is a grand Designer upstairs who has this whole shebang orchestrated to perfection all along.
Did I say there was one constant that remained through all of this changing and rearranging of my little plans? Yes. That would be my fondness for Jerseys. Our farm is getting a little browner all the time. After purchasing two more heifers this summer, my Heather is due to deliver her first calf later this month. While many things change, some can – and do – stay the same, and that what you don’t want just may be exactly what you need.