I’m Meghan Bliss, and I’m Connie’s daughter. I’m a writer and editor, and I haven’t even been married to my handsome husband Patrick for a whole year yet. We moved to New Bern a few months ago, and we’re still trying to figure out this whole adulthood thing. I sort of wish someone had warned me…
Bright Star Farm was home for 6 years before I left for college, and even then a couple of years after college (isn’t that what all the millennials are doing?). Anyway, I won’t pretend to be the most knowledgeable alpaca enthusiast; I’ll leave that to the real farmers and, of course, my mom. And I won’t claim to be a dedicated farm girl, either. I spent most of my teenage years painting my nails instead of digging my hands into the nit and grit of farm life: the early morning feeds, the cat fights, the egg collecting, the frozen water buckets in January. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that most of my “farming” experience happened while I sat on the back deck during summers, working on my tan and reading Tennessee Williams’ short stories. So while I may not be equipped to write from experience, per se, I certainly have the memories, research materials, and sources to back me up. (Just ask my family.)
But if there’s one thing I actually can write about with my eyes closed, it’s my home.
I may be a self-professed city girl, but no place I’ve ever lived has had an impact on me like Bright Star Farm. When I went to college in Wilmington, I fell in love with the campus and the town. Just the right size, it had the perfect vibe to suit me. I adjusted easily, minus your typical freshman homesickness. (Hey, it’s better than the freshman fifteen, right?)
But when I graduated in 2010, I panicked. I had no idea what to do with my life. I’d just graduated, had my heart broken, and been accepted to ECU’s graduate program, all within less than a month. I wasn’t really thrilled about any of it, especially not the moving home part. Regardless, I packed my car to the hilt and headed home.
My mom said home is where we go to lick our wounds. It’s where we go to deal with our heartache so we can feel strong again. I didn’t know exactly what she meant at the time, but I took to the hammock under our giant pecan tree in the back yard (Old Bess, as everyone likes to call her) with a notebook, a pen, and plenty of novels and memoirs. I spent hours and hours under that tree, studying the cracks in those mahogany pecan shells, memorizing the spots on backs of cats when they’d chase one I’d roll their way. I learned the soft crunch of Twink and Lacey grazing in the pasture, the shrill chirp of guineas when a car would startle their flock, and the frantic blur of a loose hound dog, our Bones, whirring by in a fit of secret freedom, unaware that an angry owner was waiting on the other side of the (once again) broken fence.
And I think, just maybe, that’s the beauty of it.