Change is constant. And one rule of resilience is abundance. So I want to begin this post clear in the fact that although we don’t yet know what this year or the following will bring, we do believe we’re moving forward, in the right direction… whatever that is and wherever that takes us.
As positive as I am about what’s ahead, I feel tremendous loss. Beginning this year, 2011, we will no longer farm on Fuller Street. We will maintain our three acres at Soule, but our home base for the past four years is no longer ours
It has been difficult to process this loss. There’s no wake, no funeral, no sitting shiva. There’s no headstone. In fact there’s no body. Fuller Street sits there as it always has. As if nothing has changed. And because it’s January there is no way to understand that something so significant is gone. January is always like this. Occasionally we might swing by there to get something from the barn, or store something in the attic, but basically it sits idle until spring.
What’s now gone is not Fuller Street. It’s the life and the community that would awaken early each spring filled with anticipation and would be followed by the excitement of families picking up their first share of the year. It would be rich with laughter – children running around the farm, playing on the tractors, feeding the goats, eating peas as fast as they could pick them. It would include exhausting and at the same time lazy afternoons chatting with CSA members as they sorted through the potatoes and onions selecting just the right ones, telling jokes, sharing recipes, complaining about the weather, and reveling over the food. It included cold rainy days hiding under the tent as some members crammed in to stay dry while they filled their baskets while still others marched off into the rain to pick their flowers and stock up on tomatoes and basil. It included farm days full of music, food, and friends. It lasted four years and became a rich and fulfilling experience for me.
As I went back to school for my first fall weekend in September, before the farm season had fully ended, I felt a sense of loss knowing that this past year couldn’t be repeated. I would graduate in May and would have to find work in addition to the farm. I knew then that the freedom I’d had for the last two years was temporary… it was a gift. But at that time I assumed the world I’d come to love would continue. And that whatever I did, it would include finding days on the farm and afternoons with the CSA.
I am grateful that this change took place now, and not a year ago and that I’ve been able to immerse myself in that life for the time that I did. I don’t doubt that through the farm and other, as of yet, unknown future activities I will continue to find rich and fulfilling experiences. I hope and trust that we find new land to rebuild both the soil and community that we’ve spent the last 4 years cultivating. But just as Plato brings us happiness while doing nothing to lessen the loss of Einstein, the new paths and unexpected joys that come next won’t change the loss I feel over the community we all shared on Fuller Street.