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On the Farm

Nights feel cooler, and the air seems to be changing. Fall is coming, and we aren't ready yet. It feels like Mother Nature isn't quite ready either. Mosquitoes, usually prevalent in summer, are abundant on our farm right now. And they are voracious. They hide in the tomato and bean plants and ambush us when we arrive to harvest! Because they were virtually absent this summer, we are unpleasantly surprised and irritated by them. Invariably after unsuccessfully trying to ignore them, we head back to the house to get the mosquito-repelling lotion I make.

We've had plenty of rain lately. While we appreciate not having to worry about watering crops, the fields are wet and muddy to work in. Tilling soil to plant fall crops in has been challenging for Bill. Seems like it just about dries out enough, and rain falls again - usually a spring problem.

We just keep trying, trusting we'll get everything in the ground that we planned. A lot of farming is trusting. Trusting the seasons will unfold the way they always have. Trusting there will be rain and sunny days. Trusting there won't be hail or ill-timed frosts that destroy crops. Trusting there will be a bountiful harvest.

Sometimes it all works, sometimes it sort of does, sometimes it doesn't. Much like life. We grow up trusting that we will go to school, earn a living, start and grow a family, grow old, retire and enjoy our golden years.

This week the town I grew up in and still have close ties to lost a well-respected, influential man. He was the pastor of the Lutheran church. I didn't know him well, but enough to know that, he comforted many. He could be seen around town at the farmers market, local fundraisers, concerts, as well as many other events. He made himself accessible to everyone and had a calming presence. His illness was quick - he died a month after diagnosis. He was only 59.

It has me contemplating once again how much we trust and how vulnerable we really are. Much like the plants we grow on our farm. We also trust the seasons of our lives will unfold as we planned -without hail or ill-timed frosts. We trust we will be able to enjoy them all with our loved ones. But, sometimes, there is a storm, sometimes sudden and sometimes fore-casted, yet always devastating.

Spring Green is devastated right now. I feel sad for his wife and teenage son and the rest of his family. I feel sad for his parishioners. I feel sad for the whole Spring Green community. And I feel sad for all of us. The loss left behind will be felt for days, months, years to come.

This storm has passed, but we all know more will come. Sometimes all we can do is take care of each other and trust we can weather the future together.

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