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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Love for the Land

This article of mine was first featured in the Farm Indiana publication printed in our local newspaper.  
Enjoy and make sure you appreciate and love something or someone all  year long, not just on the one day this weekend set aside for "love".


Love for the Land

Some of us were born with dirt in our blood.  It runs thick through our veins as we live and work on the land that we are so in love with.  It’s hard to explain to people that the smell of dirt and the view of the wide open spaces of farm fields is so beautiful and perfect.  

Farmers have a love affair with their land.  And as we celebrate this month and its made-up holiday, let’s discuss the everyday love affair the farmer has with his land. 

When I was younger I used to just watch my dad as he would drive us from our home on the farm to town.  Even though I trusted him, I always thought we would wreck someday because all he would do was look at his fields.  He was checking the land where he worked alongside his brothers, planted his crops, fixed his tractors, made a living for his family and even lost his wedding ring.  One of the loves of his life, the land, was just as important as going to my basketball games and showing up to see me off to prom.  And as a farm girl, I understood that his love for the land came with making sacrifices and that was okay.  I understand that now as a farmer’s wife too because it’s part of the dedication that comes with this farm life.

My dad, sister and I used to love watching old westerns and the gun fights.  But when it came time for the funerals, dad would turn to us and say, “when it’s my time, don’t use the precious land to bury my body.  Cremate me and give me back to the land.”  And we did just that. 

He loved us so much that he had the forethought to tell us and teach us that land is precious.  He used to say, “You can’t make more land.  What’s there and available is all there is so we have to take care of it.”

I think most of us forget about the blood, sweat and tears that go into one’s love for land.  Think about the many wars, family feuds, and lives lost searching for that small piece of land of their own.  And we cannot forget about the farmers that came before us and the ones today that work hard and care for the land to pass along to the next generation. I am hoping there are many generations to come with dirt in their blood that will continue to cherish and work the land. 

As Scarlett’s father in Gone with the Wind once said, “Why, land is the only thing worth workin', worth fighting' for, worth dying for, because it’s the only thing that lasts."  And he was right, it is the only thing that really lasts and is always beneath our feet.

As you celebrate this month of love, remember that for farmers it’s not all about love for their significant others or families.  This month and every month is about the love for their land. 

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