Life on the farm unfolds in a series of interrelated cycles. The morning symphony of hungry farm animals eventually softens, as the lights dim and stars appear, into the smooth sounds of insect improvisation. Our food-scraps find their way from our bowls to the bowels of pigs and eventually back into the soil, where new life sprouts and continues its circuitous journey back to the kitchen, then the table, and finally (much to our delight) our tummies. There are lunar cycles and seasonal cycles, nutrient cycles and water cycles. Many of these cycles are driven by the sheer force of the Earth making its elliptical trek around the sun. A few, however, gain momentum through the push of human hands working in unison to keep the precarious top of life on the farm spinning.
These hands represent another farm cycle, the never-ending flow of people coming and going. Some visitors cycle through for only a short time. Others have the good fortune of staying long enough to put down a few roots and become part of a unique and multi-cultural social circle. Often, there is a longing, among long term volunteers, to be able to bind the hands of time and bring this revolving cycle to a stop for a time or two, if only to sit and chat a bit longer to those who come through our doors. But this is a silly desire, one no more easily fulfilled than that of delaying the start of day or denying a pig its food.
Every once in a while, though, the human cycle spins such that individuals do pop back into our lives from time to time. For us, it’s always nice to be remembered, and to know that something about life on the farm has taken root in one’s heart to such a degree that even the torrent of time can’t remove it.
We’d like to dedicate this post to Julie, who took the time to piece together a lovely care package and send it our way. Thank you. We miss you, but think of you every time we share with newcomers the story of how you always imagined each shovel of stinky manure as the start of a verdant new plant.