I got a lesson in perspective this past week.
We decided we might have enough strawberries to open last week for a day. I get tired of telling people, no, we're not open today. So instead of picking them myself I thought I'd open and see what happened. Even though we've been open for years customer response can be fickle. Sometimes we've been overwhelmed. Sometimes we've sat all day with one customer. I had no idea what we'd get when we opened, especially since I really had no time to advertise. For the first thirty minutes we were dead and I figured it would be like any other warm mid-week day and we'd be slow. Then the cars began pulling in. Within an hour we were picked out and I felt horrible. It's a catch-22. On the one hand I'm glad we have that many customers willing to support us, I'm glad we got picked out so the rain won't ruin the ripe berries, and I'm glad I don't have to pick them. On the other hand I hate publishing we'll be open until a time and not being open, I wish we had more production so we didn't have to be scared we wouldn't have enough berries, and I hate getting people's hopes up that they can come pick and enjoy the farm and then be forced to close early.
So here I was, feeling sad that I had to close and frustrated because we didn't have berries when a customer asked me, do you let people come take pictures out here? To which I replied, sure. She then said, I'm a photographer and I just love how it looks out here, so many people mow everything and you've let it grow up and it's so pretty. I love the yellow flowers out there. I have so many customers who would love to have their pictures made here. I said thank you, but I was really stunned inside.
I looked back out at the field she was referring to. We'd planted really late wheat mostly as a cover crop, and even though we hadn't planned on it making I think The Husband had held out hope. As a former row crop farmer looking at our thin, short wheat and being happy goes against everything he'd been taught as a boy. Not to mention it's threaded through with mustard (the pretty yellow flowers) and rye grass which puts salt in his wound. Our boy lost his X-Box as a punishment and his job to get it back was to pull the mustard in one field. It didn't get pulled, and he still doesn't have his X-Box. As a girl my grandparents instilled a hatred of mustard in me. They went out of their way to jerk it up anywhere they saw it, and for particularly infested areas enlisted my sister and I's help removing the pest. Every time I see it on the farm I think about them and how much they would hate it. Now it took on a different meaning. I looked at the yellow flowers and thought, well, it does look kind of pretty. Maybe instead of being upset and frustrated and disappointed all the time I just need to accept that what is, is. We'll be open when we can, we'll make the best of field trips that over pick the field, we'll keep our heads up and not let this failure ruin the next crop. In this spirit, one evening last week as the sun began to set I walked out in the field to snap this picture. The Husband who hangs his head in embarrassment of our little wheat crop looked at it and said, that's pretty, where did you take it? I smiled at him.
It's all about what you make it.