Am I a farmer?
We have 5 laying hens, 12 rabbits, 6 chicks, and a garden. We start seeds and eat the end result. We rotate our vegetables, and use our compost and manure as fertilizer. We look for bugs and rust and try to eradicate them. Our chickens help to weed between rows of vegetables, as they eat bugs and grow us our daily breakfast.
Lately I feel that I am running in circles. I had a dilemma with a few young egg-eating leghorns, and had to revamp my flock, rehoming them to someone who owns roll away nest boxes. But I also have been mothering my 4 year old child, as well as working a trade at her preschool, and attempting to perform housework, sometimes even cooking. The laundry has been behind, the dishes haven’t been done, and sometimes I can’t even find my toothbrush. But the cabbage are growing, the rutabegas are started, the beans are putting up cotyledans, and six zucchinis have spread their wings; soon they will take off, providing me with fruits to bomb the neighbors.
I see myself parallel to the Appalachian farmers of Barbara Kingsolver lore, struggling to maintain my dreams while working a job elsewhere. Like them, I can’t pay my bills (for now), but I keep going, because I love the moments of space that open up in the garden. This little plot bursts open and I can see marvels of infinity growing becoming pulsing into the now. Anything seems possible, and all is calm in those moments. A white pea blossom kisses my heart as I pass quickly by, and I tuck away the secret, “I have done it. I have made this happen. There will be peas. And I can do it again.”
We all can.