Dear Farm Journal,
Farming is dangerous work. There have been numerous situations over the years which, upon reflection, make me cringe: near misses, runaway tractors, spinning gears, flying branches, crushed fingers…..the list goes on. As I get older, I think about these calamities more. I find myself taking a bit more time than I have in the past to get set up properly. For instance when I am working in the forest cutting wood, I take the time to make sure my chain is sharp. I wear a loggers helmet with a face guard and chaps. These little safety steps take five minutes to put in place and are there to save you hours of pain or worse. Instead of perching precariously on a rickety ladder, we spend a couple minutes setting up scaffolding. Not only does it feel a whole lot better, it makes the work a whole lot easier. I’ve been reflecting on the dangerous nature of our work a fair amount lately as Joy and I take on the tasks we need to take on in our daily life. I think sometimes part of the issue we all face is the incurable need to get stuff done, get it done right now! When we feel this urge welling up inside of us, it’s probably the exact same time we need to remind ourselves to slow down. The other day when we were working on the door in our new shop space, I had to wind up a bracket attached to a spring. As I wind up this bracket (which is right next to my face) the spring builds up more and more tension until I have reached to proper amount of rotations. Now, said bracket is a charged bracket, ready to spring back at me with all the force it needs to hurt me bad and I’m the only thing stopping it from doing so. The tension is scary and my muscles are fatigued. Now I need to attached said bracket to the wall. I can’t do this alone. Thankfully, Joy is right there quick with the screw gun, ready with screw, and with a couple lightning quick zips, we have the bracket attached and I can finally relax. I step away from the door and suck air. I’m momentarily exhausted from the excursion of holding back all that force. I imagine myself in an early life trying to do this job alone. How would I have done it? Could I have done it? This is just one example in an endless list and it’s just one of the infinite number of reasons we need to give ourselves time and space to figure out the best/safest way to tackle a task. Joy has told me several times how much she appreciates me taking the time to explain a project to her, even if it takes a couple times, and I appreciate she take the time to ask. We need to give each other the time and space to understand the project at hand and the risks involved and we should never feel dumb attempting to clarify what is the right next move. Let’s all stay safe out there and enjoy a long adventurous life because at the end of the day, despite the dangers this life, our work should be more about the beautiful sunsets, the tired but content body, the abundance of color, the delicious food and the explosion of life!