Wednesday, May 04, 2005

It Looks Like a Lot of Work to Me

I can still remember the thrill of first seeing it. Seeing the creeks. The woods. The fields. Seeing them as pastures. Seeing myself galloping a horse across them. I remember how the creeks looked, how they flowed in their banks. I remember the road, or what passed for a road, and crossing the creek, and having a picnic on the bank. It wanted to be our land. We wanted to be its family.

And I wanted my dad to see it. Sometimes I think kids are always seeking approval from their parents. It wasn’t what he wanted, but would he be able to see that it was what we wanted?

He met me our house in town and we drove out here together. It is 20 miles and seemed way longer to him. I used to drive half of that just to go to high school so I never understood why 20 miles was so far but both my parents thought it we had chosen to live on the moon. Considering my mom was from Snowball Holler and my dad graduated high school with only eight other people, it seems laughable to me to consider OUR holler the moon. Still, my dad patiently looked at all the highlights I pointed out. And it wasn’t his cup of tea. And he knew it was mine.

And he said, “Well, it looks like a lot of work to me.” This from a man who went to work 12 hours a day 6 days a week for 42 years, and then did the paperwork on Sundays. And who died after less than three years of not doing that. Bless his heart.

It IS a lot of work. But what else were we going to be doing?

It is something else too: It is a big party. Sometimes it is several big parties at the same time.

I suppose everyone wonders sometimes about the purpose of life, why are we here, what the heck are we doing anyway? Is life a “school”? Are we here to practice faith, hope & charity? Or the Theosophists’ version; love, light, beauty & truth? Or joy, truth & love? Are we here to demonstrate something, to become something, to find something? What?

Well, we’re here for the party.

May our death song include the lines, a good time was had by all.

The following list is included because this is, after all, life on the farm:
Mowed for the neighbor yesterday, and got her potatoes planted. She didn’t know earthworms were a good thing. Finished the white hard corn patch, and are manuring more potatoes. Need to mow the bottom and mulch. Three flats of coles await transplanting. And a flat of carrots. And more carrots need to be seeded in their little tubes. The peas are reaching for support, and the ones in the hothouse are blooming. The ones in the garden are getting sprayed daily with hot sauce solution to keep the rabbits from eating them. Time to begin looking for the volunteer sunflowers to transplant. Damn pig was out twice today so far. We’ve got to get him moved but that’s a whole day which we don’t have right now to give to him. And don’t forget the “dailies”, the meals and dishes and laundry and sweeping, the toilet scrubbing and bathtub ring erasure. Don’t forget the butter, and buttermilk, and sour cream, and bread, and grinding the wheat for the bread, and celebrate that today’s ice cream flavor is fake Oreo cookie. And the social things, e-mailing about splits in the food coop, and upcoming meetings for the homeschool group, and having conversations with friends too. Husband & kids are included in that. And the new card project. Got to do some on that and see what happens.


Joe Tornatore said...

life is a school. Sometimes I think I need better teachers.

the Contrary Goddess said...

Ah, but Joe, you are your own teacher. And you already know whatever it is you need to learn too.

justrose said...

wow, you work hard. i mean this with incredible amounts of respect and awe.

the Contrary Goddess said...

Well, that's not JUST me. Hubby generally gets breakfast while I'm milking in the morning. A whole lot of the garden work he does by himself -- although today I did help in the corn patches and I constructed one whole side of a "pea jail" (what I'm calling the supports for the peas). The kids grind the wheat with just the instruction that it needs to be done. I let a bread machine knead the yeast bread. Etc.

You know, mainly, and like you talk about on your blog sometimes, it is about the juggling of tasks, the multitasking, the timing of it all. The cream has to warm up to make butter and be cooled to make ice cream, the bread has to rise to bake, and can I time those so they all happen at the same time so I get a couple hours in the garden . . .

And it is also about having peace about nothing EVER being "done". Ah, but that's another post.