I only have 4 days left of work! Technically 3.25, but who’s counting? Oh, right. I am.
Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for my job and fully believe it was God’s provision. When I started making plans to move to NYC, it was for grad school at NYU. At the time I was working for a law firm back home and the closer I came to quitting, the more anxious I became about loans and the like. I was ready to scrap the whole plan when lo and behold the firm announced it was opening an office in…New York! They needed an office manager/paralegal and I had just finished up my paralegal certification course. Things quickly fell into place and I was able to move to NYC with a full-time job while attending grad school part time.
The grad school thing didn’t really work out (I have disliked organized education for as long as I can remember), but thankfully I had a job to fall back on that allowed me to stay in the city just because I wanted to be here. It also funded two “once in a lifetime” trips, one to Peru and one to Iceland.
(Interestingly, Peru took me out of the city for Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Iceland for Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Coincidence or causal? I’m not entirely sure…)
Even so, I would be lying if I said I would miss this job. I won’t. It isn’t the job; it’s me.
I mean it.
My bosses are great. The hours are good. The steady paycheck and benefits are wonderful. But I’m just not cut out for administrative work. Sitting at a desk staring at a computer all day isn’t for me. That’s one of the things that I find so appealing about farming. I will be outside moving around all day long. It’s physical, but it also requires a good deal of quick critical thinking. There is routine, but there are also unexpected challenges that crop up daily.
Farmers these days tend to be stereotyped as dim-witted rednecks, but that hasn’t always been the case. Most of our founding fathers were farmers AND great intellectual thinkers. The best modern farmers, like Joel Salatin, are able to identify natural systems and relationships between various animals and ecosystems and harness those relationships in a way that benefits the animals, the earth and the farmers. It’s farming and biology and environmentalism and critical thinking all wrapped up in one.
Don’t believe me? I’ll let greater minds than mine do the persuading.
“The class principally defective is that of agriculture. It is the first in utility, and ought to be first in respect. The same artificial means which have been used to produce competition in learning, may be equally successful in restoring agriculture to its primary dignity in the eyes of men. It is a science of the very first order.” ~Thomas Jefferson
“Finally, there seem to be but three ways for a nation to acquire wealth. The first is by war as the Romans did in plundering their conquered neighbours. This is robbery. The second by commerce which is generally cheating. The third by agriculture the only honest way; wherein man receives a real increase of the seed thrown into the ground, in a kind of continual miracle wrought by the hand of God in his favour, as a reward for his innocent life, and virtuous industry.” ~Benjamin Franklin
“I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman’s cares.” ~George Washington
“…the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.” ~Wendell Berry
“A farm includes the passion of the farmer’s heart, the interest of the farm’s customers, the biological activity in the soil, the pleasantness of the air about the farm — it’s everything touching, emanating from, and supplying that piece of landscape. A farm is virtually a living organism. The tragedy of our time is that cultural philosophies and market realities are squeezing life’s vitality out of most farms. And that is why the average farmer is now 60 years old. Serfdom just doesn’t attract the best and brightest.” ~Joel Salatin