This shot was taken by my eldest this past weekend, just moments after I pulled an old post out of the ground, unleashing with it a fair amount of mud. Which just happened to spray up and along my entire right side, including my face. Nothing to do but laugh about that, especially when everyone else is laughing. They were killing themselves with laughter.
I’ve actually just finished reading The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball, so it was an appropriate reminder of just how messy farm life can be. And we only work at it part time, as life allows. The kind of dirt that Kimball gets caked in every day, operating a farm that aims to feed multiple families and individuals pretty much their entire diet (ie meat, eggs, dairy, grains, fruit and veg, and then some) is epic. I was exhausted just reading about the incredible effort she and her husband put into building up their farm in an impossibly short space of time.
But I totally get the appeal.
Anything that we do on our land and with our hands is a thousand times more rewarding than what we accomplish in much of our paid work. Even though I often enjoy our ‘real work’, the work that pays the bills that it’s almost impossible to avoid in modern life, it often saps my energy and leaves me feeling flat, wishing someone else would be putting supper on the table. Working outside, being truly physical, never leaves me feeling that way.
It’s awfully nice to see our kids enjoying it so much too. They won’t think about and analyze it the way we do; instead, they just get the pleasure of doing something productive outside. I’m hoping our experience here together will cultivate in them a natural instinct to turn to the outdoors and physical work as they get older.