This is a lesson on gratitude and perspective. One that I have not always seen. I think of myself as a man of vision, but, while that sounds important, I have come to know less and less precisely what it means. This erosion of understanding, or confidence, seems only necessary to me now as I’ve spent more time with my hands in the soil. Farm life, particularly livestock farming, includes daily surprises that test patience and resolve. It is very similar to parenting in that way. Then there are the chores that must be done every day. Practical daily events, in the house and on the farm, have a peculiar way of ordering life. I have not always appreciated order and, like many modern people in particular, I have spent my share of time avoiding and escaping daily ordered tasks. Yes, there is some monotony in the daily farm life, but there is something intensely wonderful about repeating the same chores and observing the myriad small changes in each performance.
Endless incremental changes become profound epiphanies waiting for us to catch up. Moving too quickly toward our current conception of the dream means we risk missing the most important feedback to get us to that vision. I have learned in this process of becoming a farmer, becoming rural that I must be conscious of the tyranny of the dream. My children may not get a chore done just right. Their participation in farm chores does not carry the same highbrow ideology of my own book smart but dirt dumb greenhorn self. To see those little changes, I have to see these little people. I have to see that none of the dream could happen without a woman who walks by my side and believes its possible. I think the best dreams evolve and include. I think my dreams should inspire both my parents and my children. It’s about connecting generations to create the future from the present.
Look into the future as far as you can and you’ll find nothing more important than the people who share your dreams of the present. The only way to get there is by holding their hands, listening, and putting all those hands in the soil together. I’m a work in progress but being mindful that the dream must be shared seems a step in the right direction. The challenge is to keep this perspective daily along with the order of the farm life. Cast vision with patience and resolve. Dreams built with pieces of present moments are less likely to be tyrannical.