I grew up in a swarm of 'farming folk' sayings,
Buzzing around my head like bees,
Pithy platitudes, remarkably philosophical.
'Life' observations, wrapped in common imagery
Like these three:
'Play in the sunshine, rue in the rain.'
'You planted your own row; now hoe it!'
'You reap what you sow.'
These expressions carried weight.
There were always examples to point to.
'The proof is in the pudding!'
They didn't mess about with cuteness;
'If you don't eat, you die!
Do not blame fate for ill judgement;
Fate is vicious enough with weather and pestilence!'
Farming people would rally around sickness and death.
They did not tolerate laziness and stupidity.
Tough-minded they were, my farming family,
So many years ago.
As farmers still are, must be,
Working with the outdoor soil today.
The basics are still the same.
Modern mechanisation is just 'helpful'
Not a solution
To the vagaries of food production.
Massive greenhouses are very useful.
But even they require willing hands
To sow, to tend, to harvest.
And immense spaces in the right places
For rapid transportation.
Cynthia Buell Thomas, May, 2020