Saturday, January 3, 2015
The first thing I did when the latest issue of Slow Magazine arrived in my post office box was scan the cover for any names that I recognised. The second thing I did, once I saw my own typed neatly there, was have a little self conscious moment.
Farmer - Kate Ulman
I knew that I'd written an article that would be inside the covers of the mag, but for some reason that description rattled me for a sec. Mother, wife, knitter, blogger, sister, grower, daughter, maker, friend, for sure, but farmer?
And then I looked down at myself in my dirty overalls, I put one hand in my pocket and felt the irrigation fittings and the tangle of hay band, I looked at my muddy, scuffed up boots and my calloused, dirty hands and I realised that a farmer I am.
For the past 14 years since we moved here I've mainly done the house and girl stuff and farmer Bren has mainly done the farm. Until last year when we changed our farm plan, said a sad goodbye to our farmer boys and Miss Pepper started school. Since then I guess I've been a farmer. I grow stuff, I mow stuff, I break lots of stuff and sometimes I even fix stuff (thus the irrigation fittings in my pocket to fix the drip lines I'd mowed through), I look after the animals, I make decisions, I watch the weather, I take directions and I learn stuff constantly.
So after a quick self evaluation and identity assessment I decided that Slow magazine was right, I am in fact a farmer.
The next thing I did when my copy of Slow magazine arrived, while still standing in the foyer of the post office, was flick through the magazine until I found a photo I recognised. There they are those girls of mine, sitting in the garden where they so often do, frying up a batch of mud-balls on the fire.
Next I drove home so my farmer boy could read me my article. It's so hard for me to really read anything I've written myself. I can see the words and skip through the sentences, but I can't separate myself from them.
Tim Baker, Slow's editor, had asked me to write a piece about our slow home. My intention was not to preach that our way is the right way, not to direct the reader or make it appear that we have it all worked out, but to share our story. To talk about how we do things here, what we prioritise, what rules we have put in place and to share some of the compromises we've agreed on and even some of our mistakes along the way.
As he read my words back to me I remembered them but I also heard them. I hoped that our story is interesting and perhaps even helpful in the way that reading others' stories sometimes is.
And of course the photo accompanying my article was taken by our gorgeous friend and photographer Tim Burder. A photo of us at our kitchen table laden with our produce, me knitting and him shelling peas, me looking at him and loving him. I love that photo.
And lastly I flicked to the front and found my new profile picture Tim Burder took for me recently. I felt a bit self conscious asking him to take it and I felt even more so while I was standing there posing, but it's such a great thing to have it now. Me and that camera shy chook. Everyone should probably have one photo of themselves that they like on hand, just in case, don't you think?
Enough about me, tell me about you:
Do you have a profile pic?
Do you have a title that describes you?
Are you having a slow start to the brand new year?
Lots of love and a gorgeous rainstorm at the end of a stinking hot day.