When the first Frost comes forget the Springtime.
Listen to the people who say you have "too much on your plate."
Stop pulling on your boots with resolve.
Stop field work.
Stay inside the house, in the warm kitchen thinking about how difficult it is to have to go out and do chores.
Talk only about money-namely your lack of it.
Calculate how much you are paying out for hay because you didn't get a hay crop of your own in this season. Tell yourself you deserve a new outfit more than your horses, sheep, goats, and Jersey cow and calf deserve a couple day's worth of hay.
Ignore the fact that the late chore time in the barn, after dark, after the kids are tucked in, have been some of the sweetest moments between you and your spouse. Concentrate instead on how many invitations you have had to turn down on account of Honey and Dixie and Lupe's milking hours.
Tell yourself there's not much difference between the stuff you are raising and the stuff in the store.
Speak about the struggle. Be silend about the contentment.
Ignore the fact that you feel most comfortable in your mucked up barn boots.
Stop wrestling with God. Start suspecting Him. Dabble in blame of him and anyone around you.
Convince yourself that the farm is crushing you.
Stop standing still and just looking at your field, or farm, or animals, planning out the potential, painting plans and dreams.
Stop taking it a day at a time.
Believe you are entirely alone in your desire for the farm's success.
See other people as opportunities rather than inspiration.
Accept a life not lived deliberately.
Do not harden your body to the elements. Tell yourself you deserve a rest. Take it.
Take a premature open grave of walking death. Tell yourself you're doing it for your kids- ignore all the good it has done for them already and take for granted all it continues to do for them and you even when the chips are down.
HOW TO SAVE A FARM:
Pray like the ethereal and unceasing angels.
Love like a flesh and blood man.
Embrace the fact that you will be a mystery of irresponsible ridiculousness to many.
Remember the dreams of your 6 yr old youth and join in creating them with your children.
Forgo the new coat to fill the barn with hay.
Do not speak of the money, but of the moments
in the barn in the lamplight,
leaning into the soft flanks, tugging teats, filling pails, filling hours.
And even that will not be enough.
There will be a breath. A catastrophic moment on the brink of absolute loss: liquidation...
and then someone will do something. Tell a story. Give a hand. Keep a promise. Write a check.
And you will be shocked by the action of God in the small stillness of the human heart. The commerce between strangers that can occur at the cross section of an old fashioned family farm and a hell of a lot of effort. You will never be able to say: "I did it. I saved the farm" You will be ever mindful of the word: "WE."