Blessings and Bugs; 3 parts
August 8, 2011, 4:16 pm
Filed under: Home Sweet Home, Saving the Harvest, The Movement

A very unfortunate thing has occurred in my neck of the woods…that neck being the warm womb called the MonkeyHouse. My husband knows the wheres, hows, ins and outs…but the crux of the matter is….the majority of our collard plants….c’est morte.

Dead. It’s almost like it happened overnight, and yet…the foreboading of such fate has been with us all season. First it was far too cold, then too rainy, then entirely too hot. We couldn’t control the insects naturally, which meant– they were uncontrolled. And we missed more market days vending than ever before.

Did we get too big for our britches? We did amp up production on kale, and reduce the amount of chard we usually sell. Adjustments that are made annually to sufficiently respond to market demands. We did diversify our own crops that we grow for personal consumption much more, but that wasn’t it. For some reason, we may never know, God gave us an obstacle–a hurdle– to slow us down.

Friday evening when I cam home from work, MonkeyMan was completely submerged in the blues. Crestfallen. Bereft with despair. It was one of those moments  that happens, all the time, in a marriage. In a situation where you would otherwise feel totally helpless to do anything for the other person…you just pull it together. You have to because that is what you are there for, so emotionally you reach for that adrenaline shot and lift the car off the baby.

With my husband, a gentle and caring pep talk usually steers him right on track. We stood outside and lamented at our luck, the withered and decomposing plants, and fought for the courage to place the tragedy into Mother Nature’s hands.

Monkeyman forgot his phone Saturday, so when he arrived home I was surprised to see that he was laden with sacks of potatoes, cantaloupes, tomatoes, sweet corn….you name it. An abundance of wealth on a day of sorrow. Turns out, when the other vendors discovered our malady, they offered up encouragement to us…in the form of food. We spent all weekend putting up things for the winter and realizing that there really is a silver lining, especially when you aren’t expecting it. “In times of hunger, you offered me food.”

I am really proud of our community, and extremely grateful to be a part of it. These are people who have stepped outside the cold and ignorant realm of modern convenience, and into the heart of giving and sharing and helping. I realized that when you do good things, good things do happen to you, and when you treat your neighbors with respect and generosity, it is offered to you in turn.

We aren’t lost souls on a sinking ship. It may be easier to be cruel, and look the other way, but what if you just…..stopped? What if you woke up one morning and started all over again, looking people in the eye, smiling, and offering help and empathy where it is needed? Living a simple life can often be a life of love and joy, even in times of hardship.


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