It takes luck

| August 31, 2011
With the strange weather patterns that we’ve experienced so far this year, it has me thinking of all the factors that come into play to grow food.  It really is a miracle that everything happens as it does, that our fore-farmers and current farmers have given us the seeds and the methods to carry food cultivation forward.  We are lucky to have water spigots and hoses, drip lines and sprayers, and automatic timers.  We are lucky to have the blessing of not only our own harvests, but also local farmers markets that provide seasonal delicacies.  I offer POST the following writing as an offering of perspective.  It comes from pages 22-23 of a book about farming entitled Clabbered Dirt, Sweet Grass by Gary Paulsen. 

“And luck.
There is luck in it, so much luck that they don’t talk about it, the luck, don’t say a word about it, so much luck they smile and shrug and pray to themselves while they work and wait for the bad things to come.  If it doesn’t rain, the seeds won’t come up; if it rains too much the seeds won’t come up; if it rains but then doesn’t rain again at the right time the seeds will come up but the plants will die; if the rain comes but comes too much the plants will die; if the rain doesn’t come at first and the wind comes the topsoil will blow away enough to uncover the seeds and blow them away and they will die; if the rains come perfectly and the wind doesn’t come but the mustard weeds get a good start the plants will be choked off; if everything works exactly right and the rains come at the right time but not too often and the wind doesn’t come and the weeds don’t overcome them the plants will grown and they will head and they will become ripe and grow golden and then, and then if the wind stays away and doesn’t come to rip the heads loose and the hail doesn’t come to flatten the stiff, brittle dying plants and grasshoppers don’t come to eat what has grown, then there might be a harvest.

All luck.
And the luck doesn’t stop there, what the luck means doesn’t stop there.  All the luck in the world has to come every year, in every part of every year, or there is not a harvest and then the luck, the bad luck will come and everything we are, all that we can ever be, all the Einsteins and babies and love and hate, all the joy and sadness and sex and wanting and liking and disliking, all the soft summer breezes on cheeks and the first snowflakes, all the Van Goghs and Rembrandts and Mozarts and Mahlers and Thomas Jeffersons and Lincolns and Ghandis and Jesus Chirsts, all the Cleopatras and lovemaking and riches and achievements and progress, all of that, every single damn thing that we are or ever will be is dependent on six inches of topsoil and the fact that the rain comes when it’s needed and does not come when it is not needed, everything, every. . . single.. . . thing comes with that luck.”


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