“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.” ― Masanobu Fukuoka
The sun hung low in the sky as we stumbled home through the rugged rows carved deeps into the earth.
Our bronzed skin a testament to the hours spent enduring the glare of the tortuous rays as we picked up rocks and other impediments placing them firmly in our arm swung buckets. The weight of our burden grew heavy as we made our way along the rows…leaving our piles of orbital obstacles at the end of each lane, we tracked our slow progress in altar-like gatherings.
my hair plastered against my skin, stuck in the sweat beading down my neck, cheeks, arms and back. The sun’s heat bleaching my skin dark and my hair light, and feeling like the sweat perhaps left trails of some reflection of the rays where it touched my skin throughout the day. My dirt washed hands heavy with soil filled rivulets….a good wash wouldn’t even begin to restore their natural skin color. The days had burned deep into my being…this woman who paced the piles of earth, head hung low as her eyes scanned for rocky substance and wayward roots, hands scarred and raw from her battle with the earth, back sore from the constant burn of muscles ache.
As we stepped from the fields, we stopped to survey our work for the day. Weary eyes glanced over row upon row of completion, row after row yet to conquor. A collective sigh heaved from our lips…a gasp in the waning light for a bit of relief. And all at once, the sky filled darkly, clouds gathering, pushing against one another in the waning light…and the upheaval of the skies began to pour much needed liquid upon our parched heads and hearts.
at first the drops just kissed our sunburnt skin, moments where oxygen released seemed to invigorate, bringing to life….skin cleansing began to pour, and we lifted our exhausted arms heavenward as the streams poured in ecstasy over our waiting limbs. Without prompting my mouth begin to stretch from ear to ear, and a laugh escaped from lips formerly sunburnt now licking up the sustenance of rain.
And my feet began to dance, my toes began to shove themselves deep into the water spread puddles beginning to gather at my feet. And I knew that tommorrow these furrows would be a wet, muddy place. Our boots and toes would be mud caked and heavy…that our job would be further made difficult by our trudging through the mess and yet for this moment…only the relief of the rain filled our minds and senses.
The rain reminded us of the promises of what was to come. Despite the backbreaking work that we had committed to, that this was a necessary job to prepare the fields for planting, growing and harvest. And even though those little rock piles spoke of a lengthy journey and weariness that seemed to suck our very souls dry, we knew that the smallest spark of hope, remembering the harvest to come…could keep us returning to the field day after day.
For in a months time, the seeds planted deep in the silty earth would begin the magical dance of life…and their leaves would begin to emerge, pushing through for the energy that same burning sun robbed out of us. And though we wilted and became parched, these little seeds growing up as far as the eye can see, remind us of the burden necessary of removing the obstacles so that these little seeds, in their fiery ascencion into great stalks, will have as little to fight against as possible as they seek to become what they have been created to be.
We stand once again just off to the side of the field. The stalks remain knee high and yet their potential seems beyond understanding as leaves unfurl and roots push deep and flowers turn head to suck life from the very source of energy its made to seek. The yield looks like it will be great, the transition from removal of obstacles to placing of growing vegetation seems like it happened a life time again, and yet the darkened skin that continues to lighten in the waning of days tells of those days sacrificed so that the harvest could be made ready.