Growing up on a farm isolated from access to any amenities other than a small town general store, patience is indeed a learned virtue.
Nothing comes quickly when you mark your days by the rising and setting of the sun. Roosters greet the day as soon as dawn breaks, and the work of the land begins. Chickens are fed, hay is baled, soybeans are harvested, and tractors are kept in working order. As the day closes, cows meander to the barn from the far reaches of their grazing fields to congregate in the shade of feeding stalls.
Every year we planted a huge garden, then tended and tilled every sprout and shoot through the long days of summer. Waiting for those first ripe tomatoes was like watching the clock on the last day of school. But as the heat of the western Kentucky growing season heightened, produce started to appear beneath the broad leaves of the squash and deep in the thickness of bean bushes. Then it was sitting in a painted metal chair beneath the broad branches of the age-old oak at the side of our farmhouse. There my grandmother and I spent hours hulling peas and snapping beans accompanied only by a symphony of cicadas. And when the corn “came in” it was long stretches of cutting it from the cob and freezing to lay up store for the dark days of winter.
I have to admit that I couldn’t wait to find a life that moved at a quicker pace and with more of what I deemed a sense of excitement. Spending hours digging potatoes and picking cucumbers was about as exciting as, well, shucking corn and pulling up green onions.
Time teaches us many things. The pace of it, or the lack thereof, is, like many moments in our lifelong schooling, a teacher to which we should have paid more attention. Now when I watch my new granddaughter sleeping I do not discount the minutes. When my Italian mate simmers “Sunday gravy” all day long, I savor the hours it takes to reach perfection. And I no longer feel any guilt when I sit down for a couple of hours to absorb a good book.
And speaking of books, as I finished one just this week, these words appeared as I was penning this editorial. “Time moves at the same rate, only feelings have different speeds. Every day can mark a whole lifetime or a single heartbeat, depending on who you spend it with.”
We are always grateful that you spend some of YOUR most cherished time with us.