I almost didn’t go see the house we just purchased.
When we were searching for a new home, we had our hearts set on another farm. We quickly realized that what we were looking for just didn’t exist in our price range. Instead, we decided to settle for a house on a couple of acres, enough to keep a few chickens, bees, and the gardens we love. Our long term plan is to keep an eye open for a larger plot of undeveloped acreage nearby for future projects, but a couple of acres should keep us busy in the meantime.
Still, even with our adjusted expectations, we almost didn’t go see our house. It is on only 1.3 acres and had several other strikes against it that almost made us rule it out without seeing it.
I’m so glad I went anyway.
I went expecting to rule it out. I was barely paying attention when my Mom and I drove out to this one, our last tour of the day.
But I was immediately taken with how beautiful the property was. The house sits up on a hill, surrounded by trees, and it was just so peaceful.
We walked inside and I was immediately reminded of home. The wood floors were the same color as the ones at the farm, the walls were painted a similar blue. I stepped out onto the back deck and thought back to all the evenings Brandon and I sat out on ours in Ohio, sipping glasses of wine as we chatted about our days and dreamed about our future.
It felt like home from the start.
I took Brandon there a few days later. He is always very negative on house tours, nitpicking everything he sees. This one was no exception. But by the time we made it through the house and walked the property, he was grinning. “You convinced me,” he said. “Let’s make an offer!”
But we had an immediate dilemma. We always planned on calling our next place “Benedicite Farms” again. But it simply doesn’t fit. This house isn’t a farm. While we will definitely be continuing as many of our farm projects as possible, it isn’t a farm. The name doesn’t work.
So we began thinking about a new name, and chose to call our new home “Hawthorn Hill.” On our first weekend there, we planted a Hawthorn Tree.
We chose Hawthorn for several reasons. First, it’s a nod to our last name. 😉 But more than that, the Hawthorn tree has become very special to us in the past year and it fit particularly with the timing of this home purchase.
Hawthorns are sacred trees in Ireland, the land of my heart. In fact, when they build roads in Ireland, they still divert them around lone Hawthorn trees. They were long believed to be the homes of the fairies. To have a Hawthorn by your home meant that you would have good luck and prosperity (as long as you didn’t harm the tree and anger the fairies, ha!). 😉
In Britain and Greece, the Hawthorns were associated with love and marriage. Their spring flowers are beautiful, and couples would wed beneath them.
Hawthorns bloom in May, and are considered a weather omen. When the Hawthorns bloom, you know that winter is truly over and Spring has begun.
For us, this was deeply symbolic. We’re coming out of a difficult “winter” season of life. The Hawthorn is a reminder for us that winter never lasts forever, that spring has truly come again.
Hawthorn is also deeply medicinal. It is a heart medicine, both physically and emotionally. It is an esteemed cardioprotective that helps the physical heart in several ways, but it also helps ease feelings of grief and loss. I always keep dried Hawthorn berries and flowers in my herb pantry for just this purpose. Last winter, I found myself turning to Hawthorn tea over and over again as I grieved everything we said goodbye to last year.
So we planted our Hawthorn tree, along with our first berry patch and a beautiful hydrangea. My mom surprised us with the other plants as a closing gift, and it was truly the most perfect gift she could have given us. As I spent the morning on our little piece of land, with the sunlight on my back and the birds serenading me from the trees, all I could think was, “I’m finally home.”