Thursday, March 24, 2016

Day Eight - Each New Day Brings Hope

Prompt:  Today's gratitude focus is the "H" in thanks giving.

I spent a little time this past weekend in Nebraska at a farm sale.  I learned many things about farmers and the work they do for all of us.  These are not farming corporations, but families who love and work the land, ensure the animals eat first and enjoy a high quality of life while serving the hunger of our nation.  Their farms lay across the Nebraska farmscape as far as the eye can see, mile after mile after mile.  Their commitment spreads even further as they fight to keep what they do honorable, healthy, and sustaining.  Generations of families have been sustaining all of us for years - the ultimate model of sustainability.   I will never look at food again without being grateful.  I will never walk the aisles of my local market without a better understanding of the hard work and sacrifice it takes to feed me, to feed all of us.

I also learned that Carhartt is the official farm wear.  My city girl roots were exposed by my Nicole Miller coat amidst a sea of Carhartt toughness.  Many a face was amused by my appearance.  Quizzical expressions questioned my attendance.  Just for the record, my jeans were purchased at Bass Pro Shops which should should allow for at least a partial pardon.  I enjoyed learning about tractors, tools, and land, and tasted Kaloche for the first time in my life.  Someone might have heard me ask for a pony, but this is not confirmed.

As a caregiver, road trips like this one are rare these days.  Getting away is becoming a most precious commodity.  As I drive away, the worries stay strapped to me as luggage to a roof-rack.  The challenges of life do not go away just because I do, but the intensity fades just a bit as the miles wedge between my little red Jeep and my family's home. The constant beckoning of needs, the pressure of family ties and commitment, and the reign of duty in my life distance into soft focus if only for just a little while.

I left for home early Monday morning, before cows wandered aimlessly plucking grass from wet pasture and farmers pulled out from gravel roads to collect fuel for trucks and coffee for sleepy minds.  I drove into the morning, the sky lighting slowly, softly against the night, dawning a bit of new hope into my life.  The sun rose from the horizon as I traveled back to where I belong.  I carried the hope of this new day back with me to bolster against the daily struggles myself, and my family, face. It's a large life, and what would life be without hope?  I am grateful for hope.

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