I learn so much when I read stories with Elaina and the following words from Berenstain Bears hit me like an arrow:
“Farming is a very important job,” [Professor Actual Factual] said. “Farmers grow the food we eat. Without them, we might starve!”
When I was little I loved visiting my Grandparent’s farm. I got to pick the cherries for this pie from my Grandpa’s tractor bucket. Now when I take care of my own home I am in awe of how they grew so much garden food as well as raising chickens, ducks and rabbits.
Apart from the minuscule amount of veggies we get from the garden, my family depends on farmers to survive. I often think about the frontline grocery store employees because I see their faces. The farmers fade into the background. One only has to read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House Series or trying raising your own food to grasp how difficult farming can be. We have greater technology now but the weather is still unpredictable and the land still demands hard work.
I want Elaina to know that food does not magically appear at the grocery store just as cash does not grow in the ATM machines (we don’t use those anymore though..)
It’s mind boggling to think about the sheer number of people who in some way keep me alive and comfortable. A while ago at the park I overheard a mom say to her boys, “… think about the amount of resources required for Lysol wipes. The plants grown for the cloths, the packaging, and gas used for transportation…” Maybe she was explaining why she doesn’t use them. I do use them bet ever so mindfully now.
What if saying prayer for a meal time sounded like this: “Thank you Lord for this food and the farmers who grew it, the animals who gave their lives, the truck drivers who brought it to me, the shelf stockers who did night shifts (my former roommate did that. It’s brutal) and thank you for the cashier who smiled.”
Yes. there are lot of ways in which people are not working well together but maybe the next time we grab a snack or a meal it can be a reminder of the ways that people are doing their part and how we affect each other so significantly. I think about that every time I’m driving and decide to let someone into my lane or decide that I don’t have time and cut them off.
I made something like the latter decision on the mall stairs yesterday. I was hurrying down the stairs with Elaina not even noticing that I was “tailgating” a senior lady in front of me. She said “go ahead” with a sigh and stepped aside. A few seconds later she retorded loudly, “it’s called SPACE!” At first I felt indignant and defensive and mad but she was right. I was able to win some favour back by offering to hold the door open at the bottom. She refused but said “thank you.”
Oh gosh, this is a long way from thanking farmers… I think my point in this reflection is that we are constantly depending on and affecting more people than we can imagine. Just even beginning to grasp this reality makes me more thankful and humble. so Thank you farmers! And thank you readers for inspiring me to write. 😀
And last but not least… thank you Mike! Quote reference: Mike Berenstain (2015). “Berenstain Bears: When I Grow Up.” New York: Harper Collins.