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Settling the Dust

As I sit in my rocking chair, on guard outside my little one’s door, waiting for him to fall asleep, I listen to the bird’s chirp outside the windows. They’re singing their sweet songs after another shot of much needed rain. A fraction of the rain we truly need to get us out of this spring drought, but a million-dollar rain none the less. The last couple of days of rain have been enough to at least settle the dust, both literally and figuratively.

With Father’s Day approaching, I can not help but reflect on all the hardworking role models my little man has to look up to. Their never-ending dedication to their grueling lifestyles is a life lesson that can only be passed down from one generation to the next. First-hand experience is the best way to understand the long hours of both physical and mental labour farm life entails.

This week’s rain settled the dust that was being kicked up by the countless trips in and out of the yards with the tractors, as well as the clouds left behind the machinery in the fields, as everyone went full throttle to get their hay in. Hay season means busy, busy, and once again back to seeing very little of daddy and grandpa. They have to be on the go to get all the hay in before the rain they prayed for. Gramps even camped in our yard for the weekend while he helped the neighbours get their hay done as well.

It always feels like the long hours will never come to an end. My farmer and I can go days with very little conversation between us, because our work hours are so different. I’m up before him, he’s gone as soon as I get home, and the kiddo and I are asleep long before he gets to come to bed. If we’re lucky he’ll be home at lunch for half an hour or so.

His time may be limited, but daddy still takes time to spend with his mini-me. Whether he’s sharing a few giggles with the little man on the living room floor or taking him along in the tractor, their short time together is worth more than endless hours together. I see so much pride in my farmer’s face when he gets to teach his little tag along new facts about farming. His mini-me looks up at him with pure adoration and excitement. My heart fills with so much love and joy.

Thursday’s rain was a relief for every farmer around. It was a chance to settle, spend the day at home, catch their breath, enjoy time with family and catch up on some sleep! As I think about how hard my hubby, father, father-in-law and neighbours worked this week, I am in awe of them. I am grateful that my son will grow up learning how to work hard, but also understand the importance of taking time to spend with family. Even if it’s simply as a brief hello or a spin through the air as they stop in the farmyard for fuel before heading on to the next field. These are the moments that will be remembered and cherished the most.

Farming is extremely hard work 365 days a year for all men, women and children, but this week I give a special shout out to all the fathers and father figures who are role models in my son’s life. There are not too many kids who are fortunate enough to still have four great-grandfathers, his grandpa and gramps and daddy to learn from. Each teaches him something new every time he sees them whether it be about cattle, cropping, mechanics, airplanes or woodworking. So many lessons to be learned and I pray that there are many years ahead for him to continue to learn from them!

Laura Barton

My name is Laura Barton. I grew up in the wonderful community of Vankleek Hill on a dairy farm just outside of town. I have been actively involved in the community for as long as I can remember, through sports, school, 4H, volunteering etc. I now live in St. Bernardin, ON with my beautiful son and wonderful partner. I graduated from Carleton University with a major in Psychology and a minor in English. I now work as an Educational Assistant at Pleasant Corners Public School and milk cows part time. I started writing in journals at a very young age. I am thrilled to have been given an opportunity to share with others! I hope what I have to say is enjoyed by all.

laura-barton has 18 posts and counting.See all posts by laura-barton

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