New-mown field surprise:
Passion flowers growing wild.
Love notes from the land.
By Nancy Chase
In my life, I've had a lot of different jobs.
Summer camp housekeeper, apple picker, stable girl, beauty consultant, political activist, inventory taker, t-shirt screen printer, pet shop cashier, artist's model, hotel banquet manager, secretary for a university department head, magazine editor, writing coach.
Entry level jobs, most of them, because at the end of the day, when work was done, I wanted the freedom to put the job aside and not think about it. And when it came time to move on to a new job, I never had any regrets.
Those jobs were like casual relationships that never got too serious.
But farming is like true love, like marriage. Farming is the first job I've ever had that I break my heart over, sometimes on a daily basis, and yet I don't want to quit.
Farming awakens both the tenderest and fiercest corners of my heart. I have found my place, and I think this time it's for keeps.
Hallelujah---Forty-one years old, and I've finally found my career! I'm going broke doing it, but at least I've found it.
I like to think that my passion is reciprocated.
Although run down and suffering from generations of neglect, the land here has moments of aching beauty. And what is beauty, after all, but one of love's many facets, expressed in a physical form?
When I unexpectedly find an exotic purple passion flower blooming wild in a barren patch of pasture that the horses have grazed down to bare, dry dirt...
When I find an perfect, iridescent blue jay's feather shining like a sapphire on the ground at my feet...
When the sunset paints the sky in colors that take my breath away...
I stop what I'm doing and think:
This land loves me too.