The farm season at its peak is a crazy, fast-moving animal with lots of moving parts. The farm is effervescent with people and conversation and laughter.
Then, starting in October, one-by-one crew members are let off for the season. In one month we go from 9 employees down to 2.
At first the absences of others feels slight, there’s still plenty of laughter and conversation to go around. But as people keep leaving, it gets pretty quiet around here.
It’s hard not to feel sad about it. Just as summer’s vibrancy disappears, so does the crew. The farm begins to feel as bare as the trees outside.
On the one hand, I look forward to the quiet time. My work moves steadily more inside and my hours decrease. My body rests. I get outdoors in beautiful places, not just the fields all the time. I see my kids much more. I read books, and Mike and I enjoy movies together, where we actually stay awake for them.
But the transition to this time always feels a bit sad. My mind still feels close to that time of vibrancy, chatter, and laughter around the farm. It’s not quite ready for solitude, cold, and quiet.
The feeling I’m trying to describe is much like the feelings I associate with seasonal change in autumn. And I imagine you have felt this too. Fall brings on a release, a break from the heat and the bugs. It has a beauty of its own, that’s crisp, and brown, and orange. But that beauty is always pointing your towards the inevitable cold. And while I know that I just love bright, cold, sunny, snowy days… this time of dying back can sometimes feel melancholy.
This week, it seems all of us, Mike, myself, and the remaining crew are feeling this melancholy as the quieting approaches.
Soon, we’ll all adjust and find all the good in the quiet time, but right now those of us that remain on farm are collectively lamenting the end of a dynamic crew and a fun summer season.