While people's lives have been turned upside down, the world is little changed for plants and creatures — and nowhere is that more clear than on a farm. Peggy Hansen has this Perspective.
Out there, the world is haywire, lurching from one agony to the next with no apparent rhyme or reason, and no apparent will to modify its disastrous course. It’s the Twilight Zone writ large, and it’s unprecedented, terrifying and almost inconceivable.
The trees don’t know anything about all that, though, nor do the hens, the bees, the deer or the mountain lions that come by on their regular patrols. The weeks pass, and with them seasons, just like they always have. Each one brings responsibilities and chores. It might be picking fruit, pruning trees and berry canes, and spreading mulch to help the soil retain moisture. Some weeks it’s pulling weeds, clearing brush and repairing fences. Others, it’s preserving harvests and planning the next season’s plantings. Feeding every plant and animal has a cadence too.
Time is different on the farm, untethered from our human expectations and busy demands. It flows upstream, downstream or even sideways, and there are occasional dead zones or rapids that have you checking the calendar and scratching your head, confused. How, you wonder, can those apples be ripe already? How is it possible those apricots are still green, when it’s nearly July?
My other job is out there, in that Twilight Zone of pandemic, economic devastation, brutal inequality and racism, and bitter division and divisiveness. I’m not immune to its effects, from anxiety and despair to a stubborn flame of hope that we will manage a way out, and forward. And resolve, to do what I can to help us get there. But it’s a priceless gift to come home to the farm, to its troubles and delights, and listen to the cries of red-tailed hawks and ravens. I wish you all a place of such profound refuge, whatever that feels like to you.