My time at the farm has come to end. Normally when I write about an experience I have just had, I try to cultivate a reaction, a result, an emotional product that has been created from experiencing the experience.
As much as I like things to be compartmentalized neatly into separate little boxes where I can quantify the “results,” this is not always the case. My formula is generally: start something + experience something = profound epiphany about self. Then, move on to the next thing. Repeat.
What about simple continuity? No start and stop. No quantifiable emotional conclusion. I didn’t “find myself” farming. I didn’t make any fantastical self-realizations; I didn’t feel closer to self-actualization. I didn’t experience intense joy or intense misery. I was merely there, day in and day out, dirt on my hands, shit on my boots, sun on my face, rain on my back.
Is this bad? I don’t think so: it’s merely unfamiliar. I’m accustomed to experiencing my life through extremes; through levels of utmost intensity, high or low but rarely anything in between.
I don’t have a story to tell about farming. I could tell you about the way the pigs wagged their tails like dogs when they were eating, and I how felt like an accomplice to some sort of crime by vying for their affection when they will eventually be slaughtered. I could tell you about the chicken I found dead in the coop, its entrails hanging out, a vomit-worthy sight. I could tell you the delicious aromas exuded by the little herb garden and how my interest in herbalism has been perked. I could tell you about the lively salads I’ve been eating, making me feel closer to the earth. I could tell you about the ewe that had to be put down because she grew too sickly. I could tell you about the hours upon hours I spent weeding, sitting in my own thoughts, for better or for worse, wondering about life. I could tell you how rewarding and challenging it is to grow food, but that’s nothing unique to the ears.
Everything just is. Everything has just been. It’s not good or bad or profound or not profound.
Next stop: back to backcountry campsite caretaking this fall! My happy place!