As I was hastily on my way home from work today, I found myself slowing down. Soon I realized I was three cars behind a small tractor pulling a cultivator. Unable to pass or turn, my Jeep continued to crawl along the asphalt, and I began to reminisce to pass the time.
I remembered the summer late nights as a kid, the air was heavy and a choir of bull frogs sang to me as I fell asleep. Like clockwork each night as I laid in bed, the sound of a door opening and a fork scraping against a ceramic plate became familiar. My dad had finally returned from the field, long after the sun had clocked out for the day.
Growing older our farm changed, and so has our family. We’ve taken on new roles and different perspectives as we learn to farm together and conquer the challenges ahead. Late nights are common now just as they were back then. My dad still comes to the house late at night and sits at the counter for dinner, sometimes alone and sometimes with others.
Among the changes and hardships our family has encountered over the years, the work ethic has remained a constant. Although the rewards for our labor may not always be of monetary value, we feel wealthy all the same. I imagine other farm families have a similar history with hard work and persistence at it’s core, along with many priceless memories.
Still following the farmer on his tractor I picture my dad — hands full of grease and a heart full of pride. This man may not be my dad, but he’s someone’s dad, working to create a better life for his family one acre at a time.
Be sure to work to cultivate your best life.