I “married” the man I love, but “married into” the life I love. David stole my heart during a June sunset as I watched him flood irrigate an alfalfa field. As I sat in his brand-new ’72 Pontiac Ventura (bought with sweat), I fell for the romance that the hard- working farming lifestyle embraced. In the midst of the hot, humid air, and pesky mosquitoes, my city-girl values came under review by the picture of the character that the farm work ethic produced in my 17 year-old boyfriend. His commitment to getting the work done and the tangible fruits of his labor that I saw unfold that summer, made me see that life was more than earning a living. It was about caring for the land, looking to the sky for favor, and harvesting virtue in your own character.
On that day, I decided that I would marry David, accepting the uncertainties included in the package. I knew that Saturday nights would be superceded by harvest and haying, overruled by a heifer in labor, or simply forestalled by the fatigue of my farmer husband.
And now, like seed fallen to the ground, harvest has produced the next generation; today I watch our son walk in his father’s boots, forsaking city life seen at college to return to the soil. To the joy of his parents, his love for farming is wrapped around fruits far beyond fields and corrals. A choice tied to the reward that farming reaps in the intangible: harvest in family, soul and character.