Dear Farm Journal,
I am off the farm today for an employee wellness event at Duluth Trading Company headquarters in Mt. Horeb. We were invited to speak on the benefits of healthy eating, which I think is an amazing point of awareness for companies to highlight. It feels strange to wake up to an alarm, shower, dress up, pack a lunch, put on sandals, and leave the farm. Most people do this everyday. In the past, I did it everyday, but now it feels foreign and a little disorienting. Okay Joy, you remember how to deal with traffic and crowds…right? I do, but I’m a little rusty. As I drive toward Madison, I reflect on how life at a dead end gravel road and farming with just one other person has shifted how I perceive my place in the world, how I interact with others, and the pace at which I feel at ease. This lifestyle has helped me loosen some strings that were wound a little too tight inside of me. The lack of constant confrontation, bombarding personalities, and overall busy, hurried feelings of my former life has allowed me to settle into a content and peaceful place. I recognize and appreciate this all the more when I travel to a city or interact with a lot of strangers. I don’t intend on becoming a recluse or anything…I don’t think. I still enjoy some aspects of greater society, but I also deeply understand what Thoreau said, “There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature” and “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away”. His words are refreshing in a world that pushes rush and progress. However, souls like ours must reach out and share ourselves, our ideas, and our values with the world. That is what I did today, and instead of feeling anxious, I felt encouraged by those who appreciate what we do. On the way home, I stopped by a quiet stream to eat the lunch Rufus packed for me, grateful for connection as well as disconnection.