T – for Sep. 23, 2010

o the very end of his life, our father was a farmer. For Jerry, there was nothing else; no other calling had any more value, worth or meaning than farming.

He was as rooted into the black soil that he farmed as were the crops that he raised year after year.

For Jerry, farming wasn’t a way of making a living or getting ahead financially. Farming was life. Farming gave him everything; food, clothing, shelter, hard work, leisure, love, children, grief, fear, danger, triumph, hope.

The only act of infidelity for which Jerry could have ever been accused and found guilty of, was a love affair with Mother Earth. And yet she could dash his hopes, change his mind, defeat his purposes. He loved her with a passion, and his greatest moments of triumph,

his highest achievements, were those times when she would return a harvest so bountiful his bins couldn’t hold it.

We admit our view of Dad has come off as a bit romantic, a bit flowered. But there would be no music, no literature, no medicine, if not first there was farming. Farming is the guarantee, the security, that gives us time to pursue all else.

———

Farmingwasn’ta wayofmakinga

livingorgetting aheadfinancially. Farmingwaslife.

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