On the Farm . . . what's happening this week
This week I often found myself working in the fields weeding or harvesting alone. My hands busy in the dirt, absent-mindedly listening to the red-wing blackbirds chatter as they gathered in the distant trees along the creek, I contemplated my children.
They are busy kids doing what interests them. Marlee is fascinated with dogs right now. She is immersed in studying dog training and practicing on our extremely patient dog, Bindi, drawing pictures of Shelties and making dog toys.
Aidan decided that although he likes to hunt rabbit, he would like a more consistent supply for his supper of choice. After researching different breeds of meat rabbits, he was able to purchase a few white and red New Zealands with money made selling coffee at the farmers market. He does daily chores, often harvesting tiny carrots, overripe lettuce or alfalfa from the edges of the hay field to treat his rabbits. He designed and created a safe area to exercise them believing they shouldn't spend all their time in cages.
Liam is working on an impressive knife with a wrapped handle using steel and twine. He has spent hours working to polish it to ideal smoothness. He’s memorizing Runes, an ancient alphabet used to write various Germanic languages before the adoption of the Latin alphabet. And as a teenager he is intrigued by politics, and not surprising - ironic comedy.
I wonder, as all parents do, at our luck at having these amazing people in our lives. We have felt gratitude from the beginning. I knew Bill understood when he cried uncontrollably as Liam was born in our home sixteen years ago. He got it. I’m not sure he’s always felt the enormity of the responsibility of parenthood in the way I have, but it was clear he knew we’d been given a precious gift. Multiply that luck by three with the addition of Aidan and Marlee a few years later.
We question whether we deserve all they give us: love, knowledge, self-realization and fulfillment. We try our best to give back as much of ourselves as we can. We listen to them, respect them, give them time and space to explore and trust that from the moment they were born until the day they die – they will be learning. They dive into different interests without fear, forging ahead even as we unintentionally discourage them, saying we’re “too busy to help right now.” They force us to consciously look at our biases through their eyes. What is most important in our lives? What do we want to spend our limited time on? Do our actions line up with our beliefs? Do we actually want a fancy house? Beautiful new cars? Stuff in general? Of course, these are rhetorical questions I wouldn’t be asking unless I knew the answer, at least for us.
However it is good to remind ourselves in this crazy world of war, political polarization and discontent, everything we have ever wanted or, more importantly, ever needed, is in front of us right now.