First, have a look at The Art of Robert Duncan.
The pictures on Robert Duncan’s website are just beautiful. Those are my “happy places” and life-time dreams. That’s what I’ve always pictured as the “perfect” way of life. They almost show the skin-cracked hands of the folks…to me the symbol of what’s hard and yet good about farming – self-denial and tenacity, faithfulness, hard work. Folks now want to “be farmers,” but few know about the sacrifice – cold early mornings and late nights, weather heartbreak and such. One lady I talked to who was a nurse said she and her husband had bought a farm. She was a city girl turned farm wife, and said with rather large eyes and somber expression, “Country life is surprisingly hard, and there’s no vacation.”
I’d always wanted a farm, but I’d probably be too wimpy and inconsistent to do terribly well with it. My parents were strong people. I admire that. One grandson has been vowing and declaring for some time now that he’s going to be a farmer when he grows up. (With the way he stands out for hours watching the chickens and has been willing to chop wood for his parents and weed the garden without being asked, I have to believe he’s serious about it, at least for now…) They haven’t discouraged him on it too much, but point out occasionally that the Church is first, and farms might have to be pretty far out of town…His daddy asked quite seriously the other day, “If farming were what Samuel really decided to do, would you discourage him from it?”
Ever since going to visit my parents’ farm, our son-in-law has been wistful about liking that way of life… Our daughter responded, “No. But it’s pretty unlikely he’d be able to make a full living on that nowadays. So he’d need to gain some other skills too. Perhaps he could do some agricultural thing at a college and work at the extention service if that’s the kind of thing he likes. Still, without growing up in the CULTURE and having the experience and wealth of knowledge of older folks and actual farmers to draw on, it’s not likely that anybody would need some city-educated person’s knowledge. That’s a hard sell. But then the main thing is that there’s the idea of losing our lives for the Lord, and if we’re tied to a farm and that way of life, that’s automatically a harder sacrifice to make. So no, I wouldn’t necessarily discourage him from that, but I don’t know that I’d push him toward it either.
I surely can’t picture my grandson, impulsive and emotional, being able to BEGIN to survive that type of lifestyle. In some respects it would probably be good for him…” Then there’s the new administration…But that’s just something we can’t know until the Lord brings things about or stops it…It’s a good thing this world isn’t our eternal home! I can’t help being kind of wistful about this way of life and sad for a dying culture. But what the Lord is doing is all good, and there’s so much to hope and work for later, eternally…
STAY WELL; DO GOOD; SEEK WISDOM, and REMEMBER: 1 John 2:4-6
Responding to Daily Posts Writing Prompts: For Posterity and Dream Reader
2 thoughts on “DOWN ON THE FARM”
There was a time not long after the dust bowl era when farmers were paid to plant grass on previously tilled soil. That was good to hold the dirt and keep it from blowing, but it turned into a method of control where farmers were paid not to grow certain crops too. The outside control grew and grew as those who loved to till the soil looked on helplessly.
His paintings are beautiful! Even though I don’t have a farm heritage myself, I enjoyed Duncan’s pictures. Difficult though farm life was, it seems to have given you a great foundation for life, Beth: you have so many good stories to tell about your growing-up days, and your parents seem to have modeled many necessary virtues for you.
I hope your grandson can make his dream come true! He might need to have a day job as well, like his mother says? It is sad to see a way of life slowly disappearing in the US and hard to know what the future will bring for the next generation. As you say, our hope and trust must in the Lord.
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