Are we creating memories or are we just enjoying the moment?
I was recently convicted of this, actually this morning. My cousin who rooms with me got up early and commented on the amazing sunrise happening in the eastern sky outside. I quickly came down and took it in for a moment, and knowing that I always need more pictures and content to keep up with my business social media I quickly grabbed my phone and headed out the door to capture the perfect moment.
One, two, three, a couple more shots from the ground with some focus and blur going on to create some snapshot magic. After a dozen or more photos were taken and I was satisfied with what I had I started to turn to go inside, grab a cup of coffee or start work. But in that moment I thought, wait a second, I didn’t even process what I’m seeing! Take a moment and breathe, soak in the beauty, see the colors, take in the moment. Don’t be content with some pixel image packed away for future use, but take in what’s happening right now.
This is so true for so many of us on so many levels. It’s also one reason why I’m drawn to farming and love what I do. Farming forces you to put down the phone, get away from the noise and chaos of the 21st century and get your hands dirty. Chasing chickens that are loose and who continually escape and then seek a way back in. The moving of chicken pens, the rainy nights when you want to go to bed but you know that you need to get on your knees in the chicken poop and straw and make sure they are not going to get too wet or cold. It’s the weekly pruning of tomatoes and harvesting the sometimes 1lb beauties that are sweet and juicy and full of wonder and amazement.
I love that farming grounds me. It brings me back. It reminds me of where my priorities should be, that it’s here, working with my hands, getting back to my roots, finding meaning in my work. I crave a life of deep meaningful connections and relationships with my work, my life and in nature around me and the people I am with. I want realness, I want depth, I want to be understood and to understand. I want to learn why the wind blows the way it does, what it means when the stream changes shape and carves new banks, why the winters are cold and the summers hot.
I find connection with what I do, and that’s so important to me. I’m not doing this for the money, though I very pragmatic and realistic in how I look at it—and know that if I’m spending over half my time doing this, I need to at some point be bringing in half my income from this.
I truly believe we’ll get there. I really do. I think I’ve been gifted the skill sets needed to succeed and I’m surrounded and partnering with people who are like minded and want to see it happen. Any small business takes a while to take off, and farming is no different except with even added difficulties.
I’ll be the first to admit that I need to be better at slowing down. Sitting down and eating, remembering again to be present. So breathe, take in the moment. What are you eating, what does it taste like, what’s the texture like, how does it smell? Describe in your mind the beauty of the trees, the hundreds of shades of green that cloak the forest and the brilliant blue that garbs the sky. Let’s be people of right now. Let’s live in this moment, right here. Let’s be present and soak in the beauty.