Sometimes after a peaceful morning and a strong cup of coffee I get a wave of gratitude and feel very grounded and content. (Might just be the caffeine.) Caffeine euphoria or not, I feel both inspired and extremely thankful to those around me. Sadly I’m not great at showing this appreciation, especially when I feel like it’s so large I could never repay it. I often have this little day dream of how I will thank all of the people that have helped us build our farm.
One idea I've thought of is creating a plaque that hangs near our front door so that every time we come and go we are reminded that it took a village to build our dream, and that we have a pretty amazing group of family and friends that love us enough to swing a hammer, screw in 4,000 bolts, clear trees, build hives, talk us down from irrational panic, and so on. Maybe something like a long rambling Oscar recipient's speech, "I want to thank everyone that helped make our farm dream a reality.." and then list their name and their contribution.
However, this is not what first pops into my mind. No, my first inclination is always “I shall name an animal after them.” Then I go on to imagining a tour of our farm. We walk up to the fence line and point at a couple of dairy cows, “over there, that’s Tim and Susan”. In theory this always sounds like a good idea to me, like naming your child after another loved one. However, a dairy cow name Tim, isn’t really all that fitting. I also have a suspicion that I’m the only one that thinks naming an animal after someone is high praise.
I don’t actually have any real plans to name any of our animals after people. Mainly because animals don’t live forever, even the ones that aren’t raised for meat, generally have a shorter lifespan than your average person. I don't really want to have to say "Collin was brutally eaten by wolves last night".... "No, no, not my brother-in-law, the goat we named after him"... I’d like to avoid that traumatizing conversation. However, this is still the first thing that jumps to mind when I'm feeling thankful to someone that has helped us out. I guess in my world, having a beloved farm animal named after you is high praise.