A widowed farmer sells the farm that has been in his family for generations to allow his only son to follow his dreams and the next day he disappears.
Andrew Durham loved the land. It was in his blood, in his DNA. Through generations, it had come down to him from his pioneer ancestors who had come west to Kansas to tame a savage land.
When he held his son Peter in his arms for the first time, Andrew smiled. The continuation of the family tradition was now assured. One day, Andrew's legacy would pass down to his son.
It never occurred to him that his son might have his own very different dreams.
Andrew always believed his son Peter would follow in his footsteps and become a farmer. | Source: Unsplash
A farmer's life is hard. It is a vocation, not a job, as Andrew would tell his son, and if the weather doesn't cooperate and a crop fails, the rewards are few.
Where there is a will, there is a way.
Still, Andrew loved it and some of Peter's earlier memories were of riding on his dad's shoulders as he walked through the tall fields of rustling corn. That was when Peter heard the music for the first time.
When Peter was nine, his mother, Hannah, passed away. She had been out shopping with a friend in a nearby town when a vein in her brain ruptured.
Doctors later told Andrew that Hannah had probably carried that aneurism in her brain all her life, like an unexploded grenade. Andrew's tranquil life fell apart.
Andrew's wife passed away and he raised Peter alone. | Source: Pixabay
Hannah had been his ground, now he had to carry on alone and raise their son as best he could. It wasn't easy, but slowly Andrew and Peter built a new life out of the ruins of the old.
Over the next ten years, things changed a lot. The farmers around Andrew started buying transgenic seeds, and their crops grew faster and were more abundant.
But Andrew refused to buy the modified seed or use chemical sprays. He respected the land, the old ways, and the rhythms of the seasons. Unfortunately, the farm started becoming less and less profitable.
By the time Peter was in the final year of high school, Andrew was barely scraping by. He said to Peter: "I was thinking, I could sell some of the outlying fields and you could go to college.
Andrew taught Peter everything he knew, he was always by his side. | Source: Unsplash
"Get yourself an agriculture degree, so you can work the farm better than I ever did. I know you can turn this around."
Peter, who was eating his dinner, raised his head and sighed. He looked his dad in the eyes and said, "Dad, you know I love you, and I love this farm, but I don't want to be a farmer."
Andrew was stunned. "Then...what?" he asked. "What do you want to do?"
Peter blushed. "You know how I love to play guitar and sing...That's what I want to try and do, dad," he explained. "I want to sing and write music, work with musicians."
Andrew refused to use chemicals and the farm became less profitable. | Source: Unsplash
"But what about the land?" Andrew asked. "Our family has always been here, Peter. Always!"
Peter had tears in his eyes. "I love you dad, and I love this farm, but I want to follow my dream, and being a farmer is not my dream."
That night, Andrew couldn't sleep. He kept tossing and turning. He's never wanted to do anything other than farm. What would his father have done if he'd had another dream? What would Hannah do?
When Peter woke up the next morning, Andrew was gone and so was his truck. Andrew went to his church and he confided his problem in his pastor and the pastor's reply sadly confirmed his own conclusion.
Peter's dream was to sing and write songs. | Source: Unsplash
"We can't decide our children's fates, Andrew," the pastor said gently. "They have to go their own way, and it's our duty to set them free and give them wings to fly away."
That night, Andrew asked Peter what he intended to do to make his dream come true. Peter excitedly explained that he already had some work as a sessions musician lined up.
"I have some songs I sent to a producer in Nashville, and he's shown them to some singers..." he said. "He wants me to move there for a while, get some connections. He thinks I could be a very successful songwriter."
"And how will you live, Peter?" Andrew asked.
Andrew couldn't sleep and kept thinking about Peter leaving. | Source: Unsplash
Peter grinned. "I'll do what every other hopeful country singer does in Nashville!" he said. "I'll become a waiter!"
That was another sleepless night for Andrew, but when the sun rose, he had a plan. He drove into town and made his arrangements. He was going to give Peter his wings.
A week later, Andrew came home and gave Peter an envelope. Inside was a check for $450,000. "I sold the farm, Peter," Andrew said. "My father gave it to me to assure my future, now I want to assure yours."
Before Peter could react, Andrew turned his back and went up to his room. He sat with his grandfather's photo in his hands, and Peter heard him whisper, "I'm sorry, grandpa, but I had to sell the farm, I had to set my boy free."
Andrew sold the farm so Peter could have a good start in life. | Source: Unsplash
The next morning, Peter saw that his father's old truck was gone. He went upstairs to Andrew's room and saw that his father's clothes were gone, along with his mother's portrait.
His father was gone! That was when Peter noticed the envelope on the bed. He opened it and found a letter inside. "My dear Peter," he read. “The sense of my life has gone. I'm moving into Grandpa Velly's old cabin. Be happy, my son. Make your dream come true."
Peter was stunned. He had to fix this. But how? He took the check and drove into town. Three days later, he knocked on the door of Grandpa Velly's old cabin.
Andrew opened the door and gasped, "PETER! What are you doing here? I thought you were going to Nashville..."
Andrew started selling organic produce. | Source: Unsplash
"I am," Peter said. "And you're going back to the farm. I took the money back and convinced the buyer to nullify the sale. That's my farm too, dad, and my roots go just as deep as yours. I need to come home to you and to the farm. I need to know you're there, no matter how far away I go."
Andrew moved back to his farm, and Peter went to Nashville. After doing some research, Andrew decided to try his hand at growing organic vegetables and it was a very profitable endeavor.
The farm became even more profitable when Peter decided to stage a country music festival there and convinced all his big-star friends to perform.
The old farm that Andrew had thought was failing became a roaring success and the venue for one of Kansas' most popular music festivals. And who knows? Maybe one day Peter's son would want to be a farmer...
Peter decided to stage a country music festival on the farm. | Source: Unsplash
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