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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Kind, Wise, Gentle Farmer...

Lessons Learned…

At The Farm


We were city kids. We lived about twenty blocks from Lambeau Field, to be exact. We walked to school, biked around the block on  straight flat sidewalks, played kick-the-can with all of the tons of neighbor kids rambunctiously and delightfully swarming the area, regularly ran very profitable lemonade stands, and trick or treated and Christmas caroled door to door at a hundred very welcoming, close-at-hand doors. Then we moved. Twenty-five acres of rolling hills, wildlife-filled ravines, rows and rows of planted oats, alfalfa, and corn, endless sky with endless stars at night, and the sounds of farm animals going about their days. From paradise to paradise.  Urban to rural. Crowded, noisy and energized to spacious, still and free. Loved both worlds, but especially loved the new one. The gentle farmer across the road became our unknowing teacher of textbook-transcending lessons. In his faithful living, working, caring, patience, he shared the pure beauty of simplicity and selflessness. He never said much, but his living said it all. He and his dear wife never really officially invited us city-slicker kids to serve as slightly incompetent but ever so enthusiastically willing farmhands, yet every day in the summer to his farm we would race to offer our hands. And every day, his nod and his big smile said come on in. During those precious summers we learned about life and death, the passing of seasons, planting and reaping, making do, improvising, waiting expectantly, and countless life-impacting lessons as deep and rich as the good soil itself. Farming is a life of tremendous faith and unshakable optimism; the sun will return to warm and light the earth each morning, and spring, at the appointed time, will always awaken and emerge from under the silent blanket of winter. Under the wise farmer’s tutelage, these city kids became country kids.