Now that I am in my 40s I can see that my attitude about things has evolved over the years. I am now at the stage where I know that everything happens for a reason and even when things seem tough at the time, I know it will get better. And sure enough, when the skies clear, we can see so much more beauty than we noticed before!
Each of us goes through tough times; The end of relationships, the loss of loved ones, divorce, disappointment, the list goes on. But I encourage everyone to always remember that it is not for nothing. No, every little disappointment teaches us something.
I, personally, have had a miscarriage, divorce, and death of loved ones. I have lost a job, and had two businesses that were not able to support themselves that I had to walk away from. While raising two kids, there were times that I watched them get so disappointed that it broke my heart. I believe that as a parent I need to show my children strength when they are in need, even if I am crushed inside. They need to know I can be a rock for them. So I keep moving forward.
All of these things are hard! I would never say they were not. But as they say, that which does not kill us, makes us stronger. And that is the truth!
Farming is a small allegory of the greater life. Each year we have successes and learning experiences. Some years have more learning than others.
Each spring we plant our garden with visions of perfection. In the dark winter months I imagine a beautiful, weed free, lush garden. Then reality hits. Some seeds don't germinate like we had hoped. The plant spacing is not perfect. Row spacing is not what we needed for the tractor's cultivator. Or our rows are just not straight! Then with the height of summer come the heights of weeds! And boy do they ever! Each year in August I am overwhelmed with weeds!
Not only is the garden a reflection of life but so is raising animals on the farm. I have laughed with the animals, I have cried with them. I have spent hours watching young pigs run and play. I have cried tears of joy in watching a new lamb being born while comforting the laboring mom and holding the new born twin. I have cried tears of grief in finding a still born lamb. We have had whole coops full of chickens killed by prey. And repeatedly lost ducks to prey as well. We have learned that steers (castrated male cows) do not play well with sheep. We have fenced and re-fenced and re-fenced again. And we keep moving forward.
It seems as though I forget how bad the weeds can get or the frustration we feel when the pigs get out and we have to chase them all through the woods and picker bushes. It seems I tend to forget those hard times.
Forgetting those hard times brings me back to the story of life. The story where as a mother I went through the unbelievable physical pain of natural child birth. And then within mere months, decided it would be a good idea to do it again! We forget the pain and anguish when we see the amazing results.
Those amazing results when you hold that new baby in your arms and know that you could never love another with this much passion. Just like child birth farming is a labor of love! We work for months planting seeds, watering, weeding, thinning, and watching with anticipation until that joyous day arrives when we get to bite into that garden fresh tomato. We watch that lamb be born, grow into a playful, mischievious little one, and then on to be larger and ready to leave the farm. We hold ourselves together when that lamb is taken to the butcher, trying to focus on the end result. You see as a farmer on a small, diverse farm we put love into each day and each chore so that we may feed our family and those throughout our community with healthy, delicious food raised with love. I believe that food prepared with love better benefits the body and actually tastes better. Food raised with love does the same.
So yes, there are difficulties in farming. The weather does not always cooperate, neither do the deer, or the raccoons, but these are nothing to regret! These are just lessons learned! When we are able to sit down to a meal fully prepared from our farm, or share the bounty with those in our community, that is what makes it all worth while!
So when I am asked for my advice on life I often say, 'Have no regrets, just lessons learned!'
Peace to you and yours!
The Country Girl Gardener
Hi! I am Lori Lundell and I am the Country Girl Gardener at Lundell Farms. Together with my husband, John, we have a small, farm focused on natural, healthy living. We raise produce, animals for meat and eggs, and love spending time together working on projects!