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Extraordinary: a 2018 retrospective

Posted 12/18/2018 10:56am by Shiloh Avery.


2018: a retrospective

There comes a time in every journey when you cease to be a tourist. When you’re not even sure what to take pictures of anymore because the extraordinary has become the ordinary.  You forget what it’s like to see life with fresh eyes.  I remember this well from my Peace Corps experience.  What was once interesting and noticeable becomes simply the way things are.

After so many years of farming this little piece of land here in the Tumbling Shoals Valley, it can often feel this way.  I can’t even count the number of times I’ve called us “boring”.  We forget what an astonishing thing it is to coax life out of the earth; to reap fruit from what was once just a tiny brown seed, nearly unnoticeable.

So sometimes Mother Nature must remind us how not boring this job is.  She decides to shake us out of our languid torpor with an extraordinary weather event.  Or a whole season of them. Just to remind us, it seems, that we are not, in fact, passive boring farmers, but warriors of a sort. That we must fight for the lives of each of our plants. That food is hard won, and that we shouldn't take it for granted.

This, it seems, is the retrospective of 2018.  A year of extraordinary effort. A kind of war. A reminder that what we do is extraordinary. 


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