Near 500 words:Elgar

The farm was dying. Elgar knew it. His wife, Beatrice, knew it. His son, Jock, knew it. The question was what to do with it. After all, it had been his great grandfather’s, his grandfather’s, his father’s. For three generations before him, the farm had prospered. Fed the family. Kept them happy. Now he had failed. But not one of his forebears had had to deal with the droughts of the last several years.

Elgar’s feet were rooted in the soil like a tree. Elgar wrestled with the what-to-dos like Jacob wrestling with the angel long ago. To pull up and seek a new life, Beatrice and Jock knew would kill Elgar.

The farm was dying. God had abandoned this land Elgar loved so much. As the other farmers sold out and moved away, Elgar became lonelier and lonelier. When you’re the last of your kind, it’s hard to avoid the isolation, the alienation.

The tall, thin farmer walked his land one last time. As he did, he came upon his father’s old tractor seat, that “seat of power” where Dad ruled his domain. If his father had taught him anything, it was not to dominate the land. But to be its steward. It was still not too late to return to his father’s ethic.

He reached down and took the seat from the tractor, raised it above his head and began to dance. It wasn’t a rain dance. It wasn’t a folk dance. It was the dance of a man who loved his land.

haiku for the day: envy

There are some great blogs out in blogworld. They offer insights into worlds I am not normally exposed to. They are real people writing about real lives. One of these blogs I follow is called “Almost farmgirl”. Charity’s posts there reveal how tough you have to be if you plan on being a farmer. And also how joyful the life can be. Her devotion to her animals, the life she leads, and the community she has created is an inspiration. Her pursuit of her dreams makes me believe that all of us have the stuff of dreams in us. And her love of the life she has chosen reminds me of the wonderful farmer poet Wendell Berry.

If I had a farm,
but I never will, you know.
My, how I miss it.