(a short preamble : i always hesitate to write and share posts like these, the sadder more doubting kind. but given that our new lifestyle is so often romanticized — young farmers living the dream, going back to the land to raise children who know where their food comes from, who know how to tinker and fix things, who take time to breathe in the sweet pasture winds, who can identify trees and edible mushrooms — i figure the myth busting, like the story sharing, is a must.)
Some days i feel like this is one huge mistake.
A picture that a friend posted keeps coming back to me : he’s cycling on a sunny hintonburg street, pedaling a beautiful bakfiets with an adorable child in the bucket.
My life used to look like that. And how i love that esthetic. The beauty of a bicycle. The freedom of cycling to your destination. Of deciding on a whim to go stroll about with your kid. To a park maybe. Or to a meeting place. The satisfying edge of being urban alt, of critical and conscious urban living. And to raise a child to embody and appreciate these things too.
I just went for a quad ride last night to see the back acres (of our 270 acres) to see how far they got with the tilling and seeding today. Those back acres are FAR. They’re on a seldom used side road. Some kids were parked there and smoking up. That’s what kids do to smoke up in rural places, I guess. They drive somewhere where no one will see them and then they drive back home. THEY DRIVE BACK HOME. Stoned. City kids don’t have to do that. Some probably do but this one didn’t. The point is they can easily choose not to.
And some days are glorious, of course. But some, like this one, just start out too exhausted, too on edge, too overwhelmed and worried.
Our dairy cow has been losing weight. She’s been producing less milk also. She has her twin calves with her, who are, collectively, most likely drinking somewhere around twenty liters of milk, which isn’t a terribly high amount for a Jersey, but still. We’re trying to figure out what she needs to stay healthy. More oats, or some other grain, more minerals. While cows are meant to eat grass, dairy cows need more protein. Anyways, it makes me sad to see her thinned out. And exhausted as I am, I feel I look like that too. Which makes her plight all the sadder to me. Between that and what I feel are really crappy animal husbandry practices going on at the farm next door, and the numerous sickly barn cats we have on our hands, and the work, the work, the work, yet to be done, I’m longing for an urban night stroll right now. An urban anything, really.
I undoubtedly need more sleep and more play.