For me, when I think of farming, images that come to mind are of soil, fields of green waving to and fro as far as the eye can see from the hot summer breeze. Strong hands, sore muscles, a brow furrowed with focus and sweat, and the day starting with the dawn and ending with dusk, all in an effort to bring nature’s gifts to fruition. All of her gifts – be they plants, animals, or children.
It’s also the image of the dinner table and the one meal of the day where we gather as a family and where food, like the stories of our day, is shared.
One of my favorite writers of our time, Roger Ebert, wrote a lot of the cancer that took his ability to eat and how it was more than the act of consuming food that he missed. It was the conversation, the sounds, smells, and the unspoken interactions between those surrounding the table.
I’ve been struggling to write a post that reflects those topics, the acts of farming, of gardening, and cultivating – but I’ve been plagued by writer’s block these past several days.
News of a young girl whose life was taken entirely too soon by a shortsighted boy. Several states away another girl’s life was taken by a selfish man-child. And then, even more lives taken by one. I knew none of them. My life’s path did not cross theirs, but the insanity of it all is noticed and felt.
I’ve started three, no – four, possibly five articles, but each sits incomplete and uninspired. Weighted down by the waste and bitter nature of such violence.
As I put words to paper, my thoughts drift to the evening meals and dinner tables that now take place with an empty chair, incomplete conversations, the once celebrated dishes that now lack taste, and the sorrowful gatherings yet to occur.
Today, I apologize for not having a light yet heartfelt piece… but I write from the heart, and the truth of who I am.
Today, my heart is heavy.
And so I pause for this moment.
Until next time, hold yours tight and let them know how much they mean to you.