|Onions harvested, some braided and all lying in the sun to dry.|
Something Franz has always made sure to tell me is, he loves me. In my family we seem to have a difficult time saying "I love you." Except for my Mom, who has always been the more emotional and feeling type. Most of us take after my Dad. We are uncomfortable with showing and expressing most emotions. I have learned to be more open. It still is a struggle though and maybe it is personality, and that is okay. Time and life experiences has taught me that life is something to live not hide from.
If I could remember all of what I thought back then, I know I would be shocked to know where I am now. I had very different ideas about what and where I would be. One of the most ironic instances is that I very specifically said I would never a marry a reporter or a farmer. Reporters are nosy busy bodies. Farmers work 24-7. God's sense of humor is amazing and enlightening. When I met Franz he was the reporter for the Catholic Times. Now we are full fledge Organic farmers. I didn't see that coming, and it is for the best. For it is definitely where I want to be now.
Each day as I eventually roll out of bed. I have so many things to be thankful for. I also have many things to think and ponder about. There is an never ending list of things that should be done. We try our best to prioritize and tackle for the day what we can. I know there are days when we are stressed and things seem to be falling apart. Then there are the days that remind us why we choose this life and the labor and fruits it brings.
Most often there is dirt encrusting my hands as I pull many weeds a day. My fingers carry many a fruits from my garden, the field, and the orchard. Sometimes I have nicks and cuts from the rougher jobs of pounding, cutting, pulling projects together. There are days when my hands are submerged in hot soapy water after taking time to process food. School has begun in our "St. Therese's Little Flowers." Meaning, I have ink staining my fingers as I write out lessons and correct them. Other times I have flour dusting my hands as I am kneading bread and shaping the loaf to rise. Some of my favorite ways of using my hands is to stroke the nose or back of an animal, giving the scratches they love. Or to hug and rub the back of a distraught child. Or to massage my husbands back after a long day of manual labor (of course I get my back rubbed too.) If I am feeling particularly generous I will rub his feet.
There is so much depth to the life of farming. Most people don't see or know about it unless they live it. They may look at us and think "what do they get out of that sort of living...." We are not rich in material wealth and money. We have a richness in family working and tending the land and animals around us. We are close to the nature of things in a way that only those who get their hands dirty, rough, and calloused know. Life experience can have a wealth of meaning that makes a wholesomeness truely beautiful and rewarding.
We will continue to have days of struggle. We will have days of great accomplishments. We will wage the battle on all fronts of physical, mental, and spiritual. But, if we keep God first we will never lose the battle. We will find our peace and joy restored at the end of the day.
Keep on with the work of our hands. Let the labors we experience bring about bountiful fruit. Most of all Praise God for the great blessing of "farmers."