we work hard around here. we wake everyday with a list of things we must do and always too few hours to do it. now i am not delving too deeply into those individual tasks of caring for land, livestock ,family and community, i am thinking more about the perception others have of our reality. i realize there is a pastoral image out there painting a rosy picture of farm life. while i do not want to dispel this image, i want to ponder it.
if it weren’t for our apprenticeship program, i don’t think i would spend much time defining and redefining our life’s choices. this frequent contemplation emerges partially from our choice to invite a handful of optimistic folks to come and live and learn with us each year. we have a long interview process but year after year i realize that nothing prepares you for the transition from that life to this life. words do not describe, tours can not show you the life we live here.
i have lived this life for 15 years. i have eaten with all of those seasons, transitioned from vegan to carnivore with the meats, eggs and dairy from this farm. i have embraced this life and i want to share it with everyone, but, it ain’t easy! for me the shift was simple: i wanted this life so badly. i was thankful just to be on my own land raising my food, walking these woods and breathing fresh air. i was oblivious to the hardships everyone else seemed to see: the cold winters in a unninsulated building, hauling water and heating it over a fire.
today i am thankful for the perspective offered me through the questioning of others. there are wonderful people surrounding me here in this moment that have made different choices in their lives, but they have chosen to be here with us now. i am pleased that they force me to rethink my reasons for doing a certain something or making a perhaps incomprehensible decision.
last night as paul and i spent the twilight in the garden, the children all sound asleep after a long market day. we unravelled our thoughts and discussed the day. i went to bed with this lovely conclusion. we are here because we would not want to be anywhere else. it isn’t clean or easy. we toil, we have financial stress, we have worries. the satisfaction comes with the tired bodies wrapped in this knowledge that we would not ever want another life. we are free. we are happy. we are surrounded with the unbelievable satisfying independence that comes with the farming life.