Turtle’s Pace

Turtle's PaceCertainly breathing a fresh breath of air on this Thursday evening having endured quite the emotional roller-coaster week.  I’m learning more fully the lesson of remaining focused on the finish line in the midst of chaotic and mis-guided behaviors.  I’ve understood too well over the years that being side-tracked by dramatic individuals create more work as well as stress.  Little said in times like these protect against more avenues for others to go racing down to their dead ends.  “All in a week’s work and the job got done.” I say and hope not for another week as this in a very long time.

I took a long drive up to Worth County this morning on business and sort of lolly-gaged my way back simply to have a good look at the landscape and farms dotting the countryside.  Since I hadn’t seen my cousin who’s a farmer up there for some time, I thought I would drive past to see if he was home.  As chance would have it he was out in one of the cattle sheds with a skid loader leveling out some low spots.  He has always been a gentle soul and I don’t say that because I’m related to him.  When I was quite young and some of our family would go and visit my aunt and uncle on their farm, my cousins were always very soft spoken and gentle.  Certainly my aunt and uncle had much to do with that because they were very kind hearted people as well.  In visiting with my cousin he was quick to mention one of his cows had her calf in the night.  I walked in to look at the both of them and I almost became teary-eyed when looking at them while the rush of memory came pouring in.  The calf was so terribly cute and of course it being her mama’s first calf, the birthing was somewhat difficult.  I remember more than once being awakened in the night by the sounds of a cow bellowing in pain.  If it continued, we would have to get dressed and go out into the barn and help with her birthing.  Most often this happened when the calf was in a breech position.

Yes, the memories of the working farms invoke some of the most endearing thoughts.  My cousin and I caught each other up on news and I bid him farewell.  While driving back to Mason City I paid keen attention to how few farms there are with livestock as well as fewer home sites.  Too much corporate farming as well as many never being satisfied with enough farm land.  I mentioned to a woman this afternoon whose family owns land in the area the idea that farmers really should start diversifying the types of crops they’re planting. Our soil can certainly grow more than soybeans and corn.  Yes, I understand there has to be a market for other grains, but if we start growing other things, maybe the markets would create themselves.  I’ve mentioned switchgrass more than once to people but they can’t afford to wait for it to get established in likely a year or two before it can be harvested.  Switchgrass can provide more energy than corn or beans.  I won’t be surprised if there’s a few area farmers already starting to experiment with a few of their acres.

I really feel like those two hours out in the country this morning really had a very good “grounding” effect on me and I’m certainly glad I was in the mindset of coming back at a turtle’s pace.  Everyone should slow it down so to get a more whole picture of it all.

Joe Chodur

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