MISS MOOX + inspiration

Harvest Party

On this gloriously sunny and cold fall day, the farm has been transformed. Normally a quiet and tranquil setting for the animals, today it is a beehive of busy activity. The reason: we are hosting a harvest party for our church tonight, and everything must be ready.

Bob directed the efforts in the back field as we drove the tractor to remove any wood with paint, wood that had been pressure-treated, and drywall from the enormous pile of tree in various forms that is going to be the bonfire tonight. Each of us were given the chance to drive the tractor in turns as we went to pick up more wood from the heap at the end of the field that used to be a BMX bike ramp. Picking it up. Examining it to be sure it didn't contain anything that the visiting fire department inspector would later deem unsuitable. Stacking it on the trailor. Pulling it back up to the bonfire pile and rhythmically tossing it on, caber-throw in miniature, into the heart of the ever-hungry beast that is waiting to consume itself in flame. As we drove back and forth, Ebony the Newfoundland trundled after the tractor, joy in every bone of her huge frame and gentle eyes.

There is something so healing and primeval about this physical labour outdoors: it's as if it returns us to our roots, back to the earth. Adam and Eve laboured in a garden. We tend to live our lives far removed from the earth that sustains us: sanitized office environments, packeted supermarket food, well-scrubbed and indoor existence in front of computers and TVs. During the week, this is the life I live. On the weekends, I return to the earth. I exult in getting dirty, in working hard, in doing with my hands instead of my brain, in being out in the clean air and kindly sun. I am a strong woman, earth woman, farm woman. I am alive and capable and a survivor. I am every woman who has ever really lived, from Eve to the pioneer wives.

At the end, you have the tangible satisfaction of a task completed, a job well done, that somehow indoor work, however rewarding, does not provide. It's a completely different life from the one I am used to, and in the interrupted bits that I get to, I am enjoying living it.

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