Thursday, February 28, 2008

Cultivate Your Inner Farmer....And Grow

This post is a bit off the wall...but I think the point is still valid. Looking for the authentic good life - this is about clearing away some of the trappings, and getting nitty gritty about it.

How does one make contact with the lurking inner farmer? Even for those with brown thumbs, buying and keeping alive a few house plants is always a good thing, both for your health, and for your inner life. Another way is to get into that kitchen and make things from scratch – simple things. For example: pizza dough, orange marmalade, strawberry jam, tomato sauce, bread, muffins, and cookies. Get up early, get outside, get your hands dirty. Develop your creative force in the process.

Given that 100 years ago approximately 98% of the American work force was farmers, you probably have farmer blood running through your veins, so realizing that may be an opportunity to become even more authentic.

Like real farmers, teachers and writers and teacher-writers have a strong streak of independence that runs through the fiber of their being. They also possess a courage needed to confront and harness the elements of nature involved in rural living, or unruly students and editors. Students can remember their farming families of the past, draw on that strength, and get through midterms.

To put it perhaps more simply, an excessively convenient life is not always as good as it was supposed to be. While Mixonian is certainly not suggesting a complete return to the rural life, there is wealth there to harvest and bring back into a totally modern existence. Water some plants. Get some flour on your hands. Remember Farmer Mixonian.