“We never live in the present. We anticipate the future, as though it were coming too slowly, and we wanted to speed it up; or we remember the past, to make it stay with us, because it disappears too fast. But it is folly to wander around in times which are not ours, and to forget the one time that actually belongs to us; it is in vain that we yearn for the times that have no existence, while losing the one time that exists, because it is the present which is usually what wounds us… In this way we never live, but hope to live, and it becomes unavoidable that in our preparations for being happy one day, we never really are.”
-John Barton, Living Belief
This was a book that was suggested to me awhile ago, and I only just started reading it. It is simple, and important, and I truly am beginning to believe that it is this exact moment in my life that I should be reading it. This quote in particular meant a lot to me when it was first given to me, and means a lot to me now in a whole different way. It seems to be a constant struggle to treat time with care and responsibility.
To prepare for the future, but not wait on it.
To learn from the past, but not dwell in it.
One of the things I am most grateful for since working on the farm, is a sort of new found hyper-awareness of the present. Every day is different, and you must act accordingly. Every day there is a new vegetable that is ready to harvest, that wasn’t quite ready the day before. Some days it rains, and some does it does not, and there is no way to anticipate how much or how little rain we will receive. No matter how thorough your crop plan may be, no matter how many precautions you have taken, there is always a significant amount of risk you must take. In order to live in a place of risk well, I have come to understand, is to think on a small scale. To understand the time that belongs to you.
Every morning, we must wake up and be ready to make adjustments, to see what the rain has done to our crops, and then we must move forward and figure out what to do next.
Because the next day is coming, and it will be ours soon enough.