The Blessing of the Burden
A strange and fascinating thing happens when you begin farming in any capacity or in any sense of that word. You begin living in a world of abundance that somehow was invisible before. One small egg from your first hen becomes a celebrated treasure. Potatoes you planted and dig up yourself make you feel as though your wealth is beyond measure. And then one egg becomes many, and one potato an entire bushel. And while these things are certain blessings, they also carry a great responsibility. For every crop harvested and every animal who gives its life or a part of itself must be put to the fullest possible use. Nothing must be wasted. It is all much too valuable - literally filled with blood, sweat, tears, and love.
These are things that, before I started toiling in the soil and among the animals, didn't cross my mind so much. They are the same things that now consume me daily. And with all of this also comes the blessing of having to slow down, though not in the way it sounds - the days are incredibly full and always too short; the to-do list ever-growing - but most of the tasks that fill my days simply cannot be rushed or done half-heartedly. They demand attention and presence; reverence, even. With this presence comes the most wonderful gift - that of awareness. Awareness of cycles, time, life, change, death. Awareness that is sometimes a burden for all the energy it requires.
Whether you farm acres of land or a pot of herbs on a windowsill, you can't help but be changed by the act. To recognize the beauty of life in its many forms. To know work of an immeasurable value. And to feel blessed by the burden of it all.
-Jaime from Ngo Family Farm