I added an old Irish proverb to my heading: He who has water and peat on his own farm has the world his own way.

This proverb speaks a rural language that is endangered in today’s urban society. It embodies the deep connection between farmer and farm, and illustrates the pride and sense of hope that comes with owning your own piece of rural land.

Today, our connection to Irish Grove deepens, as my mom, my siblings and I become full owners of this beautiful family land. We are realizing a dream that has been passed down to us through numerous generations of strong, rural Irish men and women, not the least of whom was my father.

Dad lived most of his life on this land, and had a deep and loving relationship with it. His desire to possess this farm for himself was not born out of greed or dominance or potential profit. He wanted to play a part in his family’s history as Irish landholders, and to lovingly nuture this farm for future generations. And he wanted this farm so he could ensure that our family had a place to call our own, a place to keep us grounded and united, a place that would instill a humble respect for the land, for hard work, and for our heritage.

Dad wanted to be the connection between the past and the future. He was, and continues to be.

Dad died two years ago today. At first glance it seems ironic that we would close on the farm on the anniversary of his death. At second glance it feels, quite simply, bittersweet.

A Gaelic Blessing, for you, Dad.

May the roads rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
The rain fall soft upon your fields
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

We love you, and are so thankful.