Hello, all! It’s been far too long since I’ve made a post here, and a lot has happened since the fall. 6 months have gone by since then, and after an embarrassing car accident, 2 months of factory work (where I ate what were the best tamales I’ve ever had), what had to be one the best jobs ever at a bookstore, and a twenty-four hour-long Greyhound trip, I’ve found myself in Olivehill, Tennessee, working on an organic farm.
The work is physically demanding – I don’t think I slept comfortably between the back pain and the sunburn for the first couple weeks I was here – but, I call it “backbreaking with a purpose”. Here, we don’t use any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or fertilizers (not even “organically approved” ones), so it presents a work experience that is both unique and frustrating. Entire crops can be consumed by invasive insects and veggies may succumb to weeds that grow faster that we can weed them. However, there are also the successes in this method of farming, such as a healthy harvest, and the ability to stroll into the field, pick a cucumber off the stem, and enjoy a snack without worrying about chemicals poisoning my body.
That sounds harsh, but it’s true of a lot of the produce we consume, as well as the other junk we digest (or don’t) on a regular basis. If being here has taught me anything, it’s that we are created to feel good. Our bodies want to feel good, and will feel good, provided that we feed ourselves the stuff that does just that. We put crap into our bodies, and our bodies will feel like crap. It’s as simple as that.
Anyway, this post isn’t to lecture you on healthy eating (although I would encourage anybody who can afford it to partake in a local Community Supported Agriculture program, which will provide them with a ton of healthy, organic veggies each week.)
The truth is that this post really doesn’t have a point. Sometimes I write to get my thoughts out, and hope that there’s a point to it all. Maybe you can find it for me. For now, I want to share with you an experience I had last night.
On average, we’d like to get at least an inch of rain a week to function as a farm. As a farmer (yes, that is something I now consider myself to be) you depend on the rain more than most. Your crops need the rain and you need your crops, and when it doesn’t rain you want to build a ladder into the clouds and turn on the big faucet in the sky. I suppose non-farming, non-organically-conscious people depend on the rain, too, maybe if they don’t know it, because, unfortunately, McDonald’s can do a lot of things, but engineering Frankenstein lettuce to grow without water isn’t one of them (or, at least, I hope it isn’t.)
Despite my farming needs, I am thankful that there are some things humans still do not have dominion over, and never will. There are some things better left to a higher power, because there is no way we’d do it right on our own. Rain is one of those things.
I’ve never seen a storm roll in the same way as I did last night. I don’t like to use the word “awesome” because I think it has been pulverized with misuse to the point that its meaning is no longer recognizable. However, hearing the heavens rumble and watching the sky ignite was awesome in the biblical sense. Awe-inspiring. It was a lone me, in a field at three A.M., witnessing the force of something far more powerful than I could ever hope to become. I felt minuscule in it all, and it humbled me in a way. I understand now, more than ever, that, as is the same case as with the weather, striving to control every uncontrollable aspect of my life is useless. The rain will do as it pleases, regardless of what I want.
But there’s something kind of fantastic about that, isn’t there?