Wednesday, June 20, 2012

looking forward, looking backward

This week has been and will be different. Devin is - as I type - on his way to a little island in the Bahamas.

Yesterday morning, Devin, his friend Ray and I harvested nearly everything needed for the third week's shares: carrots, lettuce, scallions, kale, parsley, and extra bok choy for those who want it. Today, Bryce came; he lives down the road. He, Jean, Ray and I packed up the shares and transfered them to the spring house. Everything went smoothly. 

Tomorrow I will be all on my own. 

I'm very nearly half way through my internship.

A few days ago I was talking about the farm with both of my grandmothers and one of them referred to it as "work." "It's not work," I said. "It's play." That's not completely the truth, of course. I come home dirty, aching, hot and perspiring. But when children play they are really truly concentrating, they are within what they are doing and outside of themselves (Madeleine L'Engle writes about this beautifully in her book A Circle of Quiet). That's how it makes me feel. That's what I mean when I call it play. And it's a feeling I've gotten away from - because of school, because of new responsibilities. 

The week before last, Devin and I put stakes in between the tomatoes and then wove twine from one stake to the next, all the way down the line. We had to shift the cumbersome spool between us, always keeping the loose end taut. After doing several rows we got into a rhythm. The sun beat down viciously, my legs and back were quickly tired from bending over, and I was hungry. But that day, tying up those tomatoes, was incredibly enjoyable. I felt something like a child - like the little girls who live next door to us who one day helped my grandfather weed his garden. On their way home my grandfather heard the one remark to the other, "Well, that was something, wasn't it?" And then they promptly went and weeded their mother's garden. 

This work is worth doing. It calms me. It inspires me. And Devin is constantly teaching me. As we weed, he explains to me what we're pulling. We talk about different methods of planting, of land conservation. He was a history major in college: we've had discussions about that. We cook, we plant, we wrangle chickens.

Everyday when I'm about to go Devin thanks me for my time. And I never say it, but always think: "Nonsense. I should be the one thanking you."

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