Spring break...when you hear these two words what comes to your mind? Perhaps you think of soft, sandy beaches, or blue skies meeting the ocean. It might bring back memories of your favorite amusement park, or thoughts of your latest vacation rental. You may even think about a quick trip to the local museum.
When I hear these two words, my mind wanders to a different place; a place filled with green grass, and an aroma straight from the awakening earth. I picture my younger self walking alongside a fence row, with the sounds of a white bag wrestling the wind in my clutched hand. My eyes are fixed on the ground in front of me, looking for the next treasure. I picture a crumpled can, with a faded blue and white label barely holding on, and can smell the hint of stale ale leaking from it's cracks.
What does Spring Break mean to me? It means picking up trash that winter has left behind, or rocks that might disrupt a plows path. It means pounding a fence post into newly softened ground until the sun sets, with hopes of creating a barrier that will outlast the test of time.
These memories of Spring break still hold true today for life on the farm. My daughter spent the first couple days of break painting boards with her Grandma. These boards will be the new ceiling inside The Meat Shed.
My son helped his father, and our farmhand Ben, build new fencing for our cattle and pig pastures. His job was to slide the insulating cover along the wire to each post. This cover allows the flow of electricity to continue without disruption from each wooden post.
My father continues the tradition of picking up trash, as he wanders our township's streets to clean up the roadsides. One day I saw him on the side of the road while I was driving and pulled over to chat with him. I ended up having to wait in line behind two other cars in front of me wanting to visit! It reminded me of the stories I hear about the Downers Grove Farmers market, where a long line of people forms to wait patiently for a chat with their farmer. How sweet it was for me to see that line also form in our little community.
Spring break is a good time to break up the monotony of everyday life, and fill it with joyful experiences. It may be hard to feel that joy while picking rocks out of a field as long as your eye can see; however, it'll come to you when there are little repairs along your planting journey in the future.