We have the most beautiful barn here at the farmhouse with sweeping views of the White Mountains. A barn that we enjoy in all four seasons, well, five if you count muddy season in this part of the country! Our barn has three primary functions. It provides storage for our tractor and yard equipment, an indoor chicken coop for the winter, and the most considerable portion of the barn is a wide-open space for entertainment. We immediately saw the potential it offered for providing a space to gather together. We use it as our primary dining room when the weather is milder, where our friends and family enjoy dining with us outside, listening to music, and the easy access to the wide-open fields, just right outside the large double barn doors. The home’s previous owners had many offers for get-togethers, specifically weddings and other small events. And we’ve tossed that idea around too. What would it look like to offer this space for others to use for their special gatherings?
We’ve had conflicting thoughts about how many people we would consider having in the barn at one time. The idea of having lots of people and loud music on the property did not appeal to us. One of the reasons this home means so much to us goes back to why we bought this property in the first place. And it also has a lot to do with living in the mountains and the history of the home.
The moment I walked into this house, I instantly connected with the home and the land. Although this is my seventh home, I have never felt so connected to a place. While I think it has a lot to do with the fact that it’s a historic home, it also has quite a bit to do with the mountains. There is something about the mountains, the air, and the very settling and comfortable energy it nourishes. The mountains, majestic by their very essence, also provide a sense of connectivity to nature and healing energies. If you had asked me 5, 10, or 15 years ago, would you prefer to live by the ocean, on a lake, or in the mountains, I probably would have answered the ocean. Fast forward to just four short years ago and our search for a home, and I was the most surprised at how eager I was to move even further north, to a harsher climate, with mountain ranges surrounding me.
These glorious White Mountains are massive and expansive yet very still, and it provides for a captivating connection to the stillness. This stillness is what affords us a chance to rest, relax, and restore. This is what the property and the barn give me and what I believe the barn can give to others. I want others to experience the calm and serenity of this place, and with that, my ideas for what sharing the barn looks like are finally taking shape.
I imagine small groups assembled for purposeful and meaningful gatherings to work on their writing, art, meditation, yoga, spiritual work, and other activities that appreciate and flourish from measured stillness.
I have often thought about what moving to the mountains has helped me with the most, and the best way I can express it all is that it has and continues to be a study in the art of contentment. I have always been busy and ambitious, and with that often comes impatience. While I’ve always been very grateful for what I have in life, living in nature and the mountains’ grandeur has provided me with freedom in an environment to continue practicing patience, which is an essential aspect of contentment. The ability to study the art of contentment is at the core of what I want others to experience staying at the farmhouse and using the barn for a small and intimate gathering.
“At some point, you gotta let go, and sit still, and allow contentment to come to you.” -Elizabeth Gilbert.