A person is not the same after spending an entire summer in the blazing sun. Toiling in the dry dirt, that begs for a summer rain to moisten the earth, changes a person. Isolated from the world, visited only by the occasional bird, a person can nearly go insane. Thoughts become stale and dry, like the ground beneath boots. When I contemplate what the point of this labor is, I remember that a thin white check will be waiting on the table, on Friday afternoon, with my name on it. That is what keeps me moving. Another five minutes of ripping up weeds, another hour of watching the clouds pass above my head. Time is money, and money is time. If that makes sense. Thoughts tend to get jumbled in the heat. A person truly understands hydration, and a lack of it will send a head spinning.
At the end of every summer, I want to believe that it will be my last. I have no desire to “waste” another summer in a forsaken field. Yet the next spring, I come back. Money is my only motivation, and it’s a stable job. There aren’t too many of those around. I’ll take what I can get. When I find myself in the fields again, I begin to appreciate it. Time slows down. The rest of my year, at school, time flies and my life is so busy that I can hardly breathe. Many people do not get the opportunity to work in such an environment, and for that I am thankful. It gives me a chance to review my life and think about the future, and what it may hold. I wouldn’t be doing anything better if I wasn’t working.
At the start of every summer there are new employees. Work like this is often too laborious and physical for older people, so many are under the age of eighteen. I don’t mind this, because they’re easier to talk to and relate with. But many people don’t make it past the first week. They either realize the job isn’t right for them, or my boss tells them it’s not right for them. Some kids last much longer than expected. Like me, money is their only motivation. Every day, we work together. We witness the passing of a day. We witness the cycle of wet and chilly, dry and hot. This is life on the farm.
Field Peterson ‘15