Strength of Strings

Larissa - Concord, North Carolina
Entered on November 12, 2012
Themes: carpe diem, work
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Nothing satisfies like a delicious dinner. Nothing comforts like a warm bed. Nothing compares to knowing you worked hard, and now you deserve rest.

I believe in getting up early and being productive; I believe that we are not entitled to anything and therefore must work for what we need or want. I believe in growing our food, working our land, and taking care of our animals. In a nut shell, I believe in farming.

Five to six, sometimes seven days a week I go to a barn to take care of horses and chickens. I feed them. I clean their water. I give them treats. I turn them out. I muck their stalls. In the morning, I give them grain, hay, scratch and water; I also clean their stalls and sweep out the barn. In the evening I bring them in, feed them, and make their grain for the next morning. Then I go home after the sun sets knowing I’ll be getting up and doing it all again when the sun rises.

This becomes very monotonous. Sometimes, I leave the silent and clean barn at night with a sigh, because I know in the morning I will let the horses out and turn the lights on as manure and hay dirty the barn floor.

But the other day as I was cleaning a water bucket for the second time in just a few days, I realized “this is life.” Everyone is familiar with this story. If we think of life as monotonous, long, exhausting hours, then who would want to get up in the morning when they are warm and tired in their bed? But if we think of every day as a chance to start over, life is refreshing, rewarding and rhythmic.

Working at a barn taught me a more harmonious way to live. Just as I can’t ignore a dirty stall, I can’t ignore a friend because he might have done me wrong; a musician can’t put down his guitar because the strings have callused his fingers; a mother can’t leave her baby in his dirty diaper because she’s sick of changing him. We have to continue–and trust that benefits will come.

And they do. The horses happily greet me at the barn, a musician masters his instrument, and rest comes to those who work hard. So after long days, we should take the advice of Bob Dylan and “Lay down your weary tune…And rest yourself ‘neath the strength of strings.”

Bob Dylan reminds me to find the harmony in life. When I’m frustrated and bored with monotony, I find the rhythm and all the hard work makes sense.

I believe that farming creates the patience to perform monotonous duties, strength to handle difficult tasks, and grace to do it all with a smile. I also believe that farming paints a perfect picture of life. No matter your task in life, you know these feelings. We must love the rhythm rather than dread the monotony.