purpose: “the dirty life” by kristin kimball, reflections part 2 of 3

“I was in love with the work, too, despite its overabundance. The world had always seemed disturbingly chaotic to me, my choices too bewildering. I was fundamentally happier, I found, with my focus on the ground. For the first time, I could clearly see the connection between my actions and their consequences. I knew why I was doing what I was doing and I believed in it. I felt the gap between who I thought I was and how I behaved begin to close, growing closer to authentic,” (Kimball 158). 

Ah, the power of who we think we are. When this gets called into question it can be very uncomfortable. I  love this concept of a gap closing, and outer actions beginning to reflect inner reality. I think this is applicable to many of us, farmers or not, as is the concept of focusing on the ground. There is the physical ground, and then there is the inner grounding, the feeling of centeredness that gives us clarity and purpose. Farming isn’t for everyone but I would like to believe that there is something for every one of us that brings us “closer to authentic.”

In the case of Kristin Kimball, she was somewhat thrown into it by luck and circumstance. A part of me thinks that is unusual, and that most of us have to look for and work for it. But maybe we are all thrown into it, and it’s just a matter of realizing what is going on–that our opportunity to merge our inner and outer lives has arrived, and we can either take it or risk letting it pass. Kimball could have walked away from the man the was in love with and the farm she was starting to build so many times. She thinks about it many times throughout the book. But she doesn’t. She sticks with it even when it is hard. I admire this. I await the closing of the gap. I hope I will know it when I see it.

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