October 3, 2018

Summer is slowly ceding to autumn. The squirrels are frantically gathering the black walnuts that have fallen from the trees in our front yard, and the weather has become decidedly less steady, oscillating between cooler and more temperate weather. Our pumpkins and squash are all harvested, and we are beginning to clean up our fields for next year. We continue to plant new crops, but we are planting cold tolerant greens now. Also, we planted our 2019 wheat this past week, which will germinate and survive the winter and emerge in the spring to feed us all. Our bodies also need rest from the season.

We often leave our very essence in the field in the form of sweat and sometimes tears. The sweat pours from our bodies as we work long days in the spring and summer sun while tending to the needs of our crops. Each bead of perspiration consecrates our commitment to the ancient responsibility of growing food for our community. Even our body weight shrinks in the summer as the work that we do requires more energy than we can eat in a day. The energy and love for our crops is transferred from our bodies to the crops in the form of kinetic energy.

We leave tears occasionally too. Sometimes they are brought on by joy when the rain returns after a long, hot hiatus in July, and other times they pour from us like those rains when we realize, at times, that in spite of all that we gave, it may not have been enough for all of the crops. Farming is not for the faint of heart. By the time autumn arrives, we are very tired and hungry, and the thought of sleeping for long nights sounds very enticing. It is only fitting then that we will spend the next few months eating and sleeping to replenish our reserves for next season.

We have chosen our way of life, and I cannot imagine any other. I see myself in the contours of the land, and the scars on the fields are mine as well. They are temporary, and the events of next season will gradually replace the joys and heartaches of this one with new memories and experiences. It is a cycle that will continue whether I am present or not to see it. Still, I would not trade what is right in front of me for something that has not yet arrived. Today, I will embrace the wet day that is front of me, while breathing in deeply the cool air that sustains me. I will gratefully savor my breakfast as it gives me strength, and I will appreciate and love the people who share this day with me. Then I will crawl into bed, after a long day, and embrace the slumber in front of me as it heals and replenishes me for another day.

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