This week ends in October. I watch, with alarm, this year slip through my fingers with liquid ease as I attempt to hold onto it with my iron grip. The farmily, the most productive season ever, the warmth: all of it sliding away from me. Then I realize that this only brings us closer to Belize! It’s good to give ourselves something to look forward to in winter—the blazing equatorial sunlight at the end of the tunnel. A reward for months and months of extremes. A relief to the exhaustion that clings to us like days old sweat.
October is arguably the most beautiful month, with its days warm beneath a languid sun and nights slow and long and blanketed. We ease our aching bodies into its bath of lessened workload and lowered cortisol levels. We reflect and revise, formulate ideas of improvement. We glide awhile, just enjoying the view. We celebrate the season, birthdays, anniversaries, and those that passed before us. We soak in the Epsom salt of gratitude and linger there, catching our breath.
Something came up at Merlefest this weekend that reminded me of a joke we have on the farm. I laughed and wanted to share the joke with my companions but it was going to take a lot of backstory explaining and would definitely not be funny to anyone who wasn’t there. It was a “you had to be there” moment. These are the moments we share that make us a farmily.
It’s the inside jokes, the pulling together, the belonging, the taking care of each other, the “finding your tribe”…it’s the farmily. We share so much of each other, our highs, our lows, and so so much love. It’s so much more than coming to work, doing a job, and going home. We linger in each other’s thoughts, we text each other outside of work, we worry about each other’s well-being. And yes, we have fun. But also, we accomplish so much together. I am overflowing with gratitude for this tribe, this farmily.
There’s an art to the living of an ordinary life—a beauty in the mundane. The enlightened acknowledgement that you’ll never move mountains or part seas, that you don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but that your importance lies in those immediately around you. That completing the boring mundane tasks like making the bed and washing the dishes and going to work and loving your spouse and children are enough. That your existence is enough.
You know what extraordinary people have? Drama. Plenty of it. Maybe that’s your thing. If so, I wish you the strength to move that mountain, but as for me, I’m going to put one foot in front of the other and try not to knock anyone down as I walk my slow path through this incredible ordinary life. That mountain is a minor inconvenience that I can walk around. I may never make it to the other side, but this side is enough.
Our house painters briefly showed up today before immediately leaving because they thought we might be sleeping (at 10a.m.!) because it’s a national holiday today. Ha!
Labor Day is a day “set aside” to recognize the contributions of American workers to society. The irony is never lost on me that most farmers I know work on Labor Day. That farmers, borne of a fierce independence and social isolation, are not considered part of any great labor “force.” Farmers, who have mostly existed in the lower socio-economic factions of our society, shy away from any recognition of their place as the backbone of said society.
We just plow forward (pardon the pun), coaxing life from the land and distributing it amongst our fellow citizens. We just do what needs to be done. Humble. Quiet. Steady. Content to work “behind the scenes.” We labor in constant companionship with the land. And yes, it’s a labor of love. A love like a long marriage: one that runs deep and true, and whose faded passion melds often into bickering, but whose constituents could never imagine being apart.