When I was younger I did not particularly love working in the farm. It is hard work and I always go home with splinters and wounds. Who would ever thought that my time in the farm brought me back to life.
I thought I died. Not the physical one, but the part of me that used appreciate simple things died.
I was in my third year in Architecture School. Layers of bags hung under my eyes. Body curled, I dragged my heavy laptop inside my backpack. I was a zombie trotting along the school grounds, aimless, and dead inside.
You see I loved studying Architecture, I just did not have enough resources to do what should have satisfied my frustrated psyche. There were many times that I would submit a half-baked project because I did not have enough money to complete it. It killed me every time.
One day, I just did not care anymore.
Just before the Semester ended my dad apologized and told me that he cannot continue to support my studies. I kind of expected it.
The next day, even though I don’t have classes left, I went to school. Nostalgia flooded over me. I had thought that I will never see that place again- the school.
Across waters I traveled. When I arrived my dad told me that I will be supervising our small farm for the time being.
Six months, that is how long I will be working before my parents can send me back to school. I told myself that it was just a short time. I have no problem with that.
It was a short time that I would come to cherish. I deeply missed those months to this day.
On the farm, I was truly disconnected from technology. Phones are used only to communicate with people at home. On wet days, I just leave my phone behind. Sometimes it is just a burden. I don’t want to think about the gadget inside my pocket. I just want to be present without worries under the rain.
Walking barefoot in the mud on the rice fields relaxed me. I did not need to look good on the farm. Cows don’t mind the mud on your pants. Birds won’t judge you when you are all wet after you slip and fall in the river.
You’ll never run out of food. Along the way to the rice fields, I’d stop by guava trees and pluck a fruit or two. Neighbors will come to my door and give me their huge ripe papaya or offer to share a cup of warm homemade chocolate. It made me truly happy.
Toiling under the drizzle of rain filled me with an unknown strength. Sweating under the sun improved my focus.
On the farm, your mind will not be idle.
I spent my free time listening to the birds singing, the water buffalo calling her calf and the wind against the rustling of leaves. It was my meditation.
They say that the weather is unpredictable. It is not quite true. I’ve learned from the farm elders that there are specific signs to predict the rain three out of four times accurately. I have continued to use these skills to this day.
Despite being wet on most days, I did not get a single cold. I just felt healthy and more importantly, I felt alive.
Before I knew it, six months passed by. One of my uncles offered to help me get back to school. There was a lump in my throat when it was time to go. It broke my heart to leave the farm life behind.
One day, I like to have my own small house with a small garden outback. It’s a simple dream. A happy dream.
Whenever I feel that parts of me were dying, I just go somewhere that reminds me of my time on the farm.
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