The Gibson family farm has been in our family since 1906. It has been a fully functioning farm the whole time. My Grandfather and Great-Grandfather grew mostly canola and durum, and for the past ten years my father has been raising sheep. Our farm is located in the south-west corner of Saskatchewan. I grew up mostly in the city of Saskatoon, spending my summers out at the farm. You could say I have a bit of farm-kid in me. The farm spans for hundreds of acres around the farmhouse, but the garden is just down a path through the yard. This is where the magic happens...

Summer fallow June 2

                                "Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart do not know how 
                                                                  to laugh either.” - Golda Meir

I have been walking for miles. I didn't mean to. I meant to just go to the garden and take notes on the progress of my tomatoes. But when I got to the garden I just kept walking. Now I'm sitting on the border of two fields. The one on my right is absolutely green and lush with canola plants. The one on my left is empty. 
                         What it actually is, is summer fallow. This is what experienced farmers do to conserve vital nutrients and moisture in their soil in between crops. Plants take alot out of the soil, and without a chance to recover some of these nutrients, the soil may become barren. 
These days I feel alot more like the recovering summer fallow than the flourishing canola. It's been a rough couple of years. Sitting in the dirt, I'm contemplating all the ways the human heart can grieve. My grandmother died without me ever realizing how much much I would miss her. I lost the man I thought I would grow old with, and then the one that pulled me out of the frying pan and into the fire. My sister and best friend left for the United States and the space between us now feels like a canyon. 
And then the accident. This accident did not leave me paralyzed. Did not leave me blind or brain damaged. Did not leave me dead. But it did change my life forever. My spine was injured, and no amount of surgery will ever fix it. From the moment I wake up to the moment I lay down to sleep, and all of my dreaming hours in between, I am in pain. Throbbing, aching pain but also grief. Grief over the loss of movement, and the loss of freedom. I now know what hopelessness means. I know the gravity of dependence on painkillers, the relief that only narcotics can bring.
I do not believe there is beauty in pain or in tragedy. Misery sneaks up on you from behind and steals your breath.  It is a barren place that everyone must walk through at least once in their life. But I do believe there is a fine balance to everything, and where darkness falls light must follow. The harder you fall the higher you must rise to overcome it.  This is how one survives a lifetime of being human. Allowing the tide to rise over your head, and then letting it recede back into the ocean. Holding your breath until it's safe to breathe again.
There is nothing noble or romantic about this cycle, it is as natural as night and day, as basic as crop and summerfallow.

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