There are many beings that make a seasonal appearance here: cucumbers and tomatoes, pumpkins and squashes, eggplants and pole beans, zucchinis and cabbage, strawberries and kale. They each make their colorful debut at their right time. Bees bustle busily, overseeing the parade of flowers importantly, as the seasons roll by. The sheep and chickens too go through the seasonal cycle. The Shetlands are moved from pasture to pasture as the season progresses, while the birds make the ultimate pilgrimage from fed-ex crate, to adolescent chicks, to laying hens, to stew.
But seasons are not the only driving force out here. The sun rises and sets, the moon wanes and then reappears, winds change and with them arrive the reason seekers. The may have been disillusioned with what the rest of the world seems to be up to. The may need to break out of their mold of family and peer expectations. This may be just one short stop on a long pilgrimage/journey, or the final destination until the next bolt of inspiration strikes. They may have arrived with a carload of supplies, bringing their home with them. Or they might be painfully aware that no matter how much they pack, home is exactly the one ingredient they’ve misplaced and are searching for.
They’re here to experience. What land-based life is. What it feels like to be in tune with the earth. They might not be qualified advice dispensers. But working alongside, rubbing shoulders with others who have felt the questions and are now seeking the reason – there’s comfort in that.
Then, of course, there are the lifetimers. Who knows how the opposing and contradicting elements of earth, air, fire and water can work together harmoniously to create this world? Who knows how Robin and Greg have turned this piece of land, these rows of plants, these piles of tools – into a home. There’s no scientific answer to it. Maybe it’s the personal example they set of accepting each other’s differences. Maybe it’s the blessing of a house full of gifts and hand-me-downs. Maybe it’s the different worlds and homes that have preceded this one. God knows. He does. It’s right there on the kitchen wall.
So there we have it. The reason, the season, and the lifetime.
I didn’t know any of this coming in. All I knew was that they had described their farm warmly in the WWOOFer directory, and that it was the right distance from New York (far enough, and not too far). I came here seeking a vacation – vacation from my framework, from the expectations laid at my doorstep, from my worries. Most pointedly, I came here hoping for a break from religion and politics. I found neither. But as it turns out, well, sometimes instead of finding what you set out to look for, you wind up being, yourself, found.
Just some thoughts, as the suns sets, Monday, September 13th, 2010.