This was taken from a Farm and Ranch Living Magazine and written by Aldous Hawthorn from Rain Dance, Manitoba.

I have great respect for farmers as my Dad is one, as was my fil and grandparents. There are so many joys and equally many lows, I thought this man's word's were so wise.


"I guess everybody has a pet peeve or two. One of mine is that folks sometimes go overboard by romanticizing farm and ranch life. This is not to say I don't love what I do. It's just that if a person swoons too much over a thing, they run the risk of trivializing it.

I can't readily think of a job more mentally and physically demanding than farming, though I'm sure there are a few. I myself have lost one finger and a thumb, I also have bones and flesh that, damaged in the line of duty, have never quite healed up right. When you spend a lifetime doing rough things, you are bound to pay a price.

However, now in my seventh decade, I find that being gnarly and a bit brittle actually remarks upon how much I have withstood. To own a wizened face and gimpy leg are as much a sign of triumph as any medal won in war.

If you haven't confronted adversity and held up, then what can you claim as accomplishment? The loss of my left thumb has deepened my character and forced me to invent new methods of dexterity.

When I hear someone sing the praises of life on the land, I measure the integrity of their emotion by how much they seem to know of the raw, tougher side of things. The story of life on the land is filled with passages about crop and other failures. Drive a team into hearty wind that's blowing snow as fine and corrosive as sand into your face, and see how you feel about agriculture. Your eyes sting and your flesh ices over and all you can do is periodically press your face into your shoulder the way a bird hides its head under its wing.

What is it then that compels a person to become so engaged with the land? I say it's the quest for independence. The greatest right a person has is to choose his or her struggle. The struggle I have chosen is the undertaking of agriculture. This is no bleak prognosis. Farming is a molten thing, something that happens under extreme conditions. I like that my life is hewn. I like that what I have is earned. I like thickness and substance, both physical and spritual, and this is what I have.

I figure if you can like the truly hard parts of farming, you can pretty much like anything."