Friday, April 23, 2010

A weeks-end reflection

Another week has come and gone. I’ve haven’t posted on the blog yet, but feel now would be as good of time as ever. Though I could list all the highlights of the day and post corresponding pictures, I choose rather to share a bit of how it feels to finish a week on the farm. A solemn mood settles in, like last night’s fog; mystically forming but not quite settling. Just as it came though, it will pass, yielding the splendor of the backdrop it only temporarily veils.
The intricate grains of my hands are stained with dirt and grease, calloused ridges cycle through healing and new openings, mysterious bruises and cuts are found where heavy objects were lifted against the body and left their marks, sore joints and tight backs lead me a welcoming bed. Coming in from the field as the sun sets, after rising to welcome it thirteen hours ago, bible in hand and eagerness to conquer the day, one is almost too exhausted to think. The day’s tasks took a quick tempo that carried me till four without a bite, revealing how long you can actually go when so focused (probably till sun down unless Nick offered to pick up a burrito).
Once some scraps are put down, I wash up and sit down at the desk to catch up on some past emails and letters strewn across the desk. I’ll often pick up my guitar to figure out a song I’m listening to, or get carried away reading up on today’s world news and online journal articles, but by then it’s already past time to go to sleep. All my well intentioned desires to make it through my stack of books and journals, or rework our business plan, or tediously go through our stack of receipts, has once again yielded to tired eyes and limited mental capacity at this hour.
My exhaustion causes a cloud of mediocrity to fall over what we’ve set out to do. Our grueling hours, burdensome tasks, and ever-so-slowly unfolding change and growth has deflated our past enthusiasm and thrown us into a pace of just getting by. Our initial days of planning and record keeping have quickly been over taken by 11+ hours of planting, cultivating, and patching up loose ends of our every growing project list. As time lines re-shift and priority projects pile up, there’s just too much to do, too many things to not forget, and too many people to keep up with.
Yet amidst all the grime of work and mediocrity onset by exhaustion, I’m constantly reminded by what’s around me, like recognizing the emerging greenery from the cracks of an abandoned urban lot. Our days are filled with constant beauty; the smell of the rich soil just after the afternoon rain, the rough pass of the cows tongue, the squawk of the chicken announcing a freshly laid egg, the rising of the mist pierced by streams of the new day sun, a gut-wrenching laugh shared with a dear friend, the joy on the face of an urbanite getting their hands dirty and skin burnt. These small joys build, like a mosaic, yielding a much more intricate and ever grandiose picture of what Rocklands really is.
It’s a farm full of so much and filling so many things; a deep sigh of peace, restoration from the daily grind, refreshment for the soul like the cool spring in the main pasture, escape from the confusion of today’s intangibleness world. Countless cars roll up to unload eager visitors and friends, whom upon leaving have a new bounce in their step; a shift from innocent ignorance to a deep understanding of the rawness of nature and human life realized by actually “doing”.
The occupation of farming is far from the romantic picture painted by the populous. Pictures of rolling hills, vine ripe crop and rusted equipment capture the imagination, especially of those safe from the elements; suburbia folk. There is nothing wrong with being of this understanding, and it usually transforms rather quickly when one picks up the rake and heads out to the field with one of us. After a few hours, caked in dust and burnt from the sun, you soon realize how a fresh breeze actually cools you, how water can actually taste so good, articulate the smell of the evening air, and hopefully soon enough, how many hours are actually put in just to have a taste of vine ripe produce; fresh, local, and naturally grown produce.
How incredibly tangible this wondrous life is; so practical and simple yet incredibly “wonderful” as the word implies, full of wonder. Someone can pick up a seed, water it, care for it, watch it grow, and enjoy the fruit of it’s yield. We’re actually a part of something that is way beyond our person, way more complicated than we can reduce into a series of encyclopedias, way more fulfilling than what modern culture has conjured up, and way more intimate than what many of us have come to know.
I love to work the land and hope you can come join us in our adventure to share the bounty of the land,

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