Why Can’t You Farm?
Moving out to a working farm from a more sedentary “city” life is a major life change, no doubt about it.
Jenna Woginrich made the leap several years ago, started working the land and hasn’t really looked back. That doesn’t mean she’s lost perspective on what it takes, in fact, she understands firsthand the sacrifice and self-reliance required to make the change. She also understands the many excuses people give themselves to not realize their agrarian dream.
I get so many emails and letters from folks who wish they could quit their job, change their life, and move to the country but feel they can’t. Sometimes these emails are incredibly sad. Some folks say they are too old to start over. Some are dealing with a disease or death in the family that ties them to unexpected care for children or elders. Some people are stuck in prison, literally trapped. These are hard to read.
And yet, these people are never really suffering with desire. Most are at peace with where their lives are. Since they can’t do anything to change things at the moment, they let go of their dream a while. The release is a kind of peace, one woman said. I have a lot of faith in these folks, because if they can get through whatever is holding them back now they will be even more resilient and dedicated when they do stick their shovels in the dirt. You don’t get discouraged at a bad day at the Farmer’s Market when three years ago you spent an entire summer in ICU. They are cultivating a perspective that lasts. It is worth acres of black earth.
Some of the emails I get are in the same sad tone but very, very, different. They come from people who want to farm as well, but aren’t because the changes that farm requires seem too hard or complicated. People who have put emotional and social discomfort between them and their dreams, and they feel it is just as much a barrier as a prison wall. These are the hardest emails for me to read, much harder than the former. They always start out with “I love your life and wish it was mine! But!…” and then go through the lists of excuses why it isn’t.
I have learned this much: No one can save people in this mindset but themselves. I mean, if a person writes me from an actual prison his limitations can be overcome soon as he is free. But when some one has already decided they can’t leave the one they built around themselves – they can not be helped.
This article originally appeared on BarnHeart.com. It is partially posted here with permission from the author.
Photo Credit: Jenna Woginrich
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