The Snap, the Sting, then Gratitude – Week #12, 2020
Mid-morning I was out harvesting kale. Nine a.m. and I was already sweaty – partly due to the heat, partly due to the fact that I had rain pants on over work pants since the kale leaves were so wet with the overnight rain. With blue rubberbands wrapped tightly around my left pinkie and index finger, I cracked leaves and made bunches.
Several hundred leaf cracks in and – SNAP!
In my grab for a rubberband, one band snapped back hard on my fingers, wet and stinging.
First I cussed (because I was alone and have a bad mouth).
Then I smiled, and felt an overwhelming pulse of gratitude.
You see, the stinging snap of rubber bands on our fingers is a normal part of farm work, a brief body pain we all experience in working with our bodies that’s quite low on the scale of things that can hurt while farming.
But this rubberband snap, while somewhat inconsequential in the summer heat, will feel very different and much more biting soon. When banding crops in the fall, our hands get really cold. The outdoor temperatures are part of that equation, but so too is the dew on the plants. Cool air and wet plants make for cold, slow fingers. When that SNAP! of the rubberband hits cold fingers that have lost their dexterity, the pain is mean.
It was this knowing, the understanding sung by the afternoon cicadas that the heat will wane and the cold will come, that filled me feel such gratitude.
I stood there for a moment, smiling in the kale. Just soaking up the heat, the humidity, and the sting.
Cheers and enjoy your veggies!