Sometimes I’m not sure what to write, just like sometimes I’m not sure what action I should take. I keep with it because life is practice. I’m enjoying getting back to gathering with friends and family, working to prioritize getting together. It’s so easy to just keep my head down and work, and I often feel anxiety in the lead up to an event.
Ask me to do an event two months in advance and my answer will almost always be yes, because it isn’t close enough for me to feel the ramifications. Ask me to do something today, and my answer will almost always be no, because it’s so close that the changes to plans are clear and apparent.
It becomes more comfortable not to interact, not to extend myself and put in the effort to gather. I become calcified and less flexible, and this makes me less likely to want to go out. This past year exacerbated these tendencies, so that I found it comforting to just stay home and work.
Interaction takes effort and mutual acknowledgement, a shared engagement of human exchange. We are social creatures, molded to work and play together by eons of development, yet these practices require repetition and reinforcement. It has been interesting to see the changes as my generation becomes the adults, teaching little ones and looking to our elders for advice and wisdom.
Children learn from their parents and community members about how to interact, and we adults teach them by our words, actions, mannerisms and ways of being. I’ve been reflecting on generational transitions, and on how it feels to find myself as a “responsible adult”.
The old saying that “everyone is just winging it” has been echoing for me as I forge my way along the path of life. I often feel unsure of what the right direction is, or what action I should pursue. I try to seek counsel from others who I respect, and I try to look within to seek answers to my questions.
I think about faith, about honor. I wonder about guidance and higher powers, and I think about love. Love begets respect and caring action, but it isn’t always easy to come from a place of love. Stress, frustration, resentment are all hurdles that prevent me from bringing my best and highest self to interactions with others.
Communication happens in many forms and means, through words, body language, actions. When I feel good, it is conveyed to those around me, and this energy has a cascading effect, spreading outward like a ripple on the pond. When I feel joy, it is fostered in others, and that replication comes back to me in a positive feedback loop.
As an extrovert, I draw energy from others. I feel excitement when I see people, and I enjoy spending time in conversation. I love to talk about farming, crops, equipment, life. A wide-ranging discussion with differing viewpoints is one of my favorite things.
The American stereotype that we all talk about the weather as a conversational fallback rings for me in a different way this spring. The anxiety that we are all feeling about drought comes through as a general sense of unease which colors my interactions. The early heat adds stress to the work as I hustle to get irrigation up and running, and this stress is replicated through my interactions when I’m short and snappy.
I’m not acclimated to the warmth yet, but it’s more psychological than physical. I’m realizing that in order to adapt to a warmer, drier climate, I have to change my expectations. Summer doesn’t come in June anymore, it seems to begin in early May. This realization changes my irrigation patterns, my crop planning, altering the fundamentals of the farm.
As I look to a hotter, drier future, I have to evaluate the operational mechanics and the human aspects. The stress of fire and lack of rainfall need to be accounted for in my farm planning, but also in the way that I acknowledge and interact with others. I need to offer compassion and love in order to expect to receive the same. As always, much love and great success to you on your journey!
Casey O'Neill co-operates HappyDay Farms, a micro-diversified farm in northern Mendocino County, California. His family raises two acres of Sun+Earth and DEMPure Certified vegetables, poultry and medical cannabis in a small-farm setting while working towards sustainability. Casey is stoked about sharing food, medicine and cultivation techniques with others. He is passionate about representing small farmers and works to support Mendocino County policy-makers in crafting sensible regulations. Casey also serves on the board of Sun+Earth Certified. You can find his radio show podcast at HappyDay Farms - Farm and Reefer Report on iTunes or Soundcloud. You can also find out more about HappyDay Farms here: http://www.happydayfarmscsa.com, on Instagram @happydayfarms and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/casey.oneill.395/ or https://www.facebook.com/happydayfarmscsa/