The dirty life indeed

Laughing in the facing of dirt on the farm

This shot was taken by my eldest this past weekend, just moments after I pulled an old post out of the ground, unleashing with it a fair amount of mud. Which just happened to spray up and along my entire right side, including my face. Nothing to do but laugh about that, especially when everyone else is laughing. They were killing themselves with laughter.

I’ve actually just finished reading The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball, so it was an appropriate reminder of just how messy farm life can be. And we only work at it part time, as life allows. The kind of dirt that Kimball gets caked in every day, operating a farm that aims to feed multiple families and individuals pretty much their entire diet (ie meat, eggs, dairy, grains, fruit and veg, and then some) is epic. I was exhausted just reading about the incredible effort she and her husband put into building up their farm in an impossibly short space of time.

But I totally get the appeal.

Anything that we do on our land and with our hands is a thousand times more rewarding than what we accomplish in much of our paid work. Even though I often enjoy our ‘real work’, the work that pays the bills that it’s almost impossible to avoid in modern life, it often saps my energy and leaves me feeling flat, wishing someone else would be putting supper on the table. Working outside, being truly physical, never leaves me feeling that way.

It’s awfully nice to see our kids enjoying it so much too. They won’t think about and analyze it the way we do; instead, they just get the pleasure of doing something productive outside. I’m hoping our experience here together will cultivate in them a natural instinct to turn to the outdoors and physical work as they get older.

Boys removing a sign with hand tools

9 thoughts on “The dirty life indeed

  1. Ha! It’s like you wrote this in honor of my post today! 🙂 Love it. Though at first I thought those were bugs and I was afraid to look.

    This line is so true, “They won’t think about and analyze it the way we do; instead, they just get the pleasure of doing something productive outside.” I should try to do that myself. Just get lost in the moment.

    1. I’d been meaning to post this photograph since the weekend, but I think your wonderful post must have inspired the direction I took with it. Couldn’t agree with you more about just being in the moment – it’s hard for us grownups, but so worth trying.

      1. I figured you already had that planned! I just meant that we were on the same wavelength. Tonight at dinner, I cut into my vegetable lasagna, and my knife slipped, and I ended up with sauce splattered all over my face. Your turn. 🙂

      2. I’ve done that too, just not today! Let’s stay on the same wavelength, but maybe not at the same table! 🙂

    1. So very true. I’m really grateful that we’re getting the opportunity to discover this while are kids are still young enough. Thanks for stopping by.

    1. Yes, the real reward in farmwork is a great thing to discover, and somehow more precious coming to this realization when we’ve already experienced life in other ways.

  2. Love this!! Hilarious! So great to be lost in the moment and get so many rewards from such hard work. I can just picture future holidays (maybe even with grandkids?) and the stories you will all be able to share and reminisce over!! : )

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