A Farmer’s Daughter
July 10, 2012 by
The following post was originally written a couple of weeks ago for my personal blog.  I wanted to share it here because it will provide some background for next week’s post as well as explain a few of the childhood experiences that helped shape the therapist I am today.  By tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be heading back to Indiana to be with family, and I’m looking forward to being among the fields, flowers, and open air. And to being reminded that I am a farmer’s daughter.

“Good farmers who take seriously their duties as stewards of Creation and of their land’s inheritors, contribute to the welfare of society in more ways than society usually acknowledges, or even knows.” —Wendell Berry

I came across this quotation on the On Being blog today. This past weekend, my parents and younger sister came to visit. My parents are farmers, and it was the first chance they have had to visit in a while.

Overall, it was great growing up as a farmer’s daughter. My parents were always around if I needed them. I never had to attend day care, because my grandparents (who farmed as well) lived just down the road. There are endless memories of standing on the edge of a field, screaming as loud as I could, hoping my dad or grandpa would see me waving my arms – followed by me running through a half-planted or half-harvested field once they had stopped so that I could climb up to ride with them. I have just as many memories of falling asleep on the floor of a combine, waking up dirty and happy. I loved planting season, because the shed would be filled with large pallets or bags of seed, stacked high into the rafters. I would find a way to climb on top of the fork lift to get on the highest bags and climb from pile to pile.

I also have memories of my dad looking at the radar or sky to predict the weather. And feeling his stress when it’s the opposite of what is needed.  Last spring, the rain was endless, flooding fields and killing crops.  Then the opposite happens, on years like this one, when the rain doesn’t come at all.

This year is a tough one for farmers. As the rain stays away and the crops burn in the sun, they can see their income for the year wither with it. It’s a tough pill to swallow.

My thoughts are with all of the farmers over the next few days of this heat wave. And I’m sending them thanks for all that they do. 

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