Dear Farm Journal,
One of my favorite writers, Henry David Thoreau, said, “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness”. My reflection on these words today comes, not only from the simplifying forces of winter on the farm, but also from my perpetual cognizance regarding the beauty of a fundamentally organic life. Winter naturally halts the break neck speed of summer, giving farmers a chance to catch their breath. It’s like Mother Nature knew we wouldn’t stop unless she made it unworkable, and all things need to rest in season. With winter comes the age old tasks of collecting wood and starting fires, a simple function that connects us to our ancestors, and the universe at large. A multitude of messages in American culture, riddled with the front running values of hyper-consumerism and individualism, will tell you a life that is “simple”, “basic”, “rural” or “low income” is some kind of a weakness. I have to disagree because I see the beauty in it everyday.