Musings from the Second Week June 30, 2010

by Kelley McArthur

If I were to be honest, I would admit that living at the farm hasn’t been the easiest thing I’ve ever done. I don’t even mean this in a physically demanding type way (although it definitely is that at times), but I mean more in a mentally testing and character-checking type way. I have realized that becoming a hard worker does not happen the moment I am handed hard work to do, but rather that my lazy nature will seek to fight it’s way through. Carelessness is also something I’ve discovered I wrestle with, whether that may mean leaving different things that belong to me lying around or being careless with other people’s things, and usually I end up realizing my carelessness after the fact, which can be very frustrating to myself and probably to others as well.

However, I realize that these are valuable lessons I can take with me for the rest of my life (and tomorrow, even). I wanted to come here and work hard, but working hard isn’t something that just happens—it’s a decision; one made day after day and in every circumstance where it’s needed, whether that may be with my hands or my brain.

This summer, I’ve been constantly surrounded by people who can do amazing things, from bee keeping to bread making to banjo playing. This could be intimidating, but it is also pretty inspiring. I used to think that people who could do amazing things were just born with those characteristics, or were super humans or something (which might sometimes be true), but I think it is also true that when people want something, people get it. And if they want it and don’t try to get it, they won’t have it. Whether that means learning how to build fences or learning how to listen better, these things don’t occur out of mere desire—they may begin that way, but they will most likely end with determination and a few drops of sweat. This is inspiring to me, because it lets me know that I am capable. Whatever, it is: I am capable. And I’ll probably fail, but that is just the beginning of possibilities.

At any rate, I am glad to be here. I am thankful to be welcomed and to be a part of this place for a little while. I am excited to be able to learn and grow and hopefully take something away at the end that I can share—something that will say, “Look, this is proof that a beautiful life is possible.” But for now, I will take these experiences one day at a time, and let them lead me where they will.

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