Death to Life
The concept of death to life hasn’t come cheap for us here at Rusted Plowshare. It has emerged from the depths of sorrow with the patience of one of our chestnut trees.
We mentioned that we come from a long tradition of farmers. Our parents bought a farm here in Concordia, MO. That’s where we grew up, but farming wasn’t expected to be in our future. Our Dad, Jon, was a Vice President of a local bank, and farmed corn and soy on the side.
And he was wonderful! Funny and kind. Studious and light-hearted. He would go to the bank and work all day, and come home and sit in a tractor at night. Yet, somehow, in between shift changes, he would always stop and play whatever sport I was out in the driveway playing. He’s a lot to live up to.
Notice the past tense. We can’t tell our farming story without acknowledging one of our deepest sources of sadness. In 2002, our dad was killed in a farming accident, and the course of our lives changed forever. Both of us went off to live our lives elsewhere and pursue careers in education. Farming was the farthest thing from our minds.
Yet, land has a way of beckoning back home. Both of us would much rather have our Dad still here and farming, but if that were the case, knowing the scale and economics of row crop farming, there probably wouldn’t have been a place here for the two of us on our farm, much less pasture and a chestnut orchard.
The perpetual pattern of the world continues. A grain of wheat is buried, lays under the ground for a time, and the miracle of life shoots forth.