I love to stay in a round canvas yurt tucked in the tiny woods of an organic farm in Madison, in western Minnesota. Earthrise Farm once produced dozens of shares of produce, but now it’s the home farm of friends Kay and Annette Fernholz, who live there with plenty of wide-roaming chickens, a couple of goats and ponies, four dogs, several cats, and a family vegetable garden. The yurt is a space for personal retreat. If you look inside, you can see wood beams arching down from a round window, a red comfy bed, a wood table and chairs, a bookshelf, and me sitting on the little pine rocker reading a book.
I like to write there, weed the walk, sit on the swing, and look across the fields into the dusk. I love waking to the dark palm of sky above me lit with stars. Sometimes I wander out into the blanket of stars, shimmering and glittering and flickering to the farthest edge of night.
In the morning, I step through wet dew and weeds to the outhouse. I drink in the sky’s pale pink and peach. If I pick an apple off a tree, I taste the morning air and moist wind, a brown rooster beside me pecking his own apple in the mulch. There’s a kinship here to people and animals, plants and trees, soil and water, even the motes of drifting dust. It’s a small home in the world, a soil to sink into, a place to lean back and look into the sky. A voice deep inside me unfurls in the quiet: Welcome.
Susan Armington, Minneapolis