It was not a whimsical breeze. More of an unforgiving howl in the face.
Cold and wet’s not good. But a hot day with an unceasing, raw wind is enervating and every bit as uncomfortable. Hiding under your hood as raindrops fall, snug in a sweater and a waterproof coat, rain is almost romantic. There’s just no hiding from the reality of a hard wind, bent double out in the middle of a field, exposed and lonely. Farmwork holds no romance for me.
It was even worse yesterday and we held off harvesting in hopes today conditions would improve. Instead, brother Elsu lofted and shaped artichoke beds with the orange tractor while I finished the irrigation hookups and farmer Collins churned out soil blocks carefully seeded with the next crop of onions and cabbages. I was happy to let Collins work inside the greenhouse yesterday knowing that today I would be pushing him full speed in the field for eight straight hours, or more if needed. I have to be careful not to wear him out Wednesday since Thursday is an early start and a long haul and Friday follows hard with another full day of picking.
These are the days you just have to grin and bear it. Tough it out. It’s not fun, and it’s not really very enlightening. So what, you have to bust your ass all day? Join the club. But, it doesn’t have to be disheartening, either. Even as the wind whips the long drip lines and scatters them in knots across the field, even as that unceremonious tune plays in your ear, at least there is dignity, in purpose, in act, in outcome. We are working our fields, honest fields paid for in sweat and real dollars. The sun is not smiling and the ocean is not whispering your name. But you are alive and determined, swaying in the wind but steadfast, as if you too grew up out of the soil, proud as a sunflower.