reflections from the southeast PA rural underground

Monday, April 14, 2014

The razzled, frazzled, scattered, fuzzy brain of a Farmer

 Um. . . .did you put the water on? Yeah, I know. . .but. . .er. . .did you water the carrot bed again? Cuz, cuz, you know if the carrots don't stay COM-PLETE-LY damp from day one they will not, WILL NOT germinate. Is it dry, it seems dry. . .the wind and sun for two days with this light ass soill. . .is it dry? Did you run water ON THE CARROTS!!!???

Full disclaimer, dear reader, your humble servant is neither farmer nor writer. Merely a hack, at both endeavors. An English degree does not a Writer make and a market gardener with dozens of varieties of vegetables to be seeded, watered, weeded, picked, packed, washed and hauled to market does not a Farmer make. Sometimes I write words, most of the time I grow veg (that's Euro-speak for vegetables).

Since we all need to be labeled-- and  for crying out loud let's not forget to exploit our very own de facto labels for as much as they're worth, thank you very much indeed-- I will call myself a grower. You my dear readers may decide if I have any mastery at all over the written word. And so it begins yet again, the awakening time, Spring in all its glorious madness. Time to lessen intake of caffeine. For now it's all cool night and sun drenched day. Nature's energy buzzing here and there making it harder to sleep. Yet easier to sleep less and do more. Gadzoooooooks it's here again!

And with the vernal resurrection upon us, you may look around to see your friendly neighborhood grower looking right back at you. Or if you're lucky you might even catch a glimpse of a real live honest to goodness farmer as well in the coming months. Do bid them your support in all manner of decency that you see fit. The farmer will be the one, who you may already know?, who's got land. That's right baby, LAND. She's got land like her thighs have power. Her arms are engines, whether sleek or stout. She knows that open space where the chickens dance, the berries ooze, and her tractor crawls and hauls, like she knows her fickle heart. He's got a sawmill, an engine shop, a welding shop, a wood crafting shop, 100 acres of commodity crops next to 300 foot of plastic-covered ground for red tomatoes, cucumbers, or strawberries. This is not a back yard, yours or mine! This is not a metaphor, not a symbol but a true kingdom of here and now.

These people are zippy or glum, in your face or removed, scowling or smiling as wide as the horizon like the rest of us. Cheers to them. They do real things all day. Well, most days. What's a real thing you ask? A real thing is at least partly physical, requiring grace, balance, or at least a modicum of stout heartiness. If you haven't ever seen an old order Mennonite kid (or and adult for that matter) on a unicycle, well that's just too bad for you. A real thing involves a human using hands in more than one way vs. to eat or type or socially mediatize. A real thing is that product that the producer produces, no more or less real than these words yet some how so. There will be materials involved that can be viscerally experienced in this 'line' of work. Like soil, water, wood, metal, textile, cardboard, seed and such. These materials have a relationship to the person.  Line? Did I say line? Lines across the earth, scratched and raked, buried and furrowed, lost and remembered. The hasty Sun beckoning, 'do you not see the path I have set before you?'

And most of all, the Spring mind of the grower and farmer alike will drift. Rashly sifting thoughts that become actions or just frantic thoughts again. And finally, the moments collide, utterly focused as if the center of the center of the universal truth(s) had just seeped, or crashed, into the ocean of their brain. Seeds become trees, roots, and flowers after all. At once the mustard seed, drifting chaotically in the wind, and so then later grounded, to the ground of all being, to root itself and be known.

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