I am a farmer's wife. I do not drive tractors. I do not market the crop. I do not sit in on daily discussions of what needs to happen where on the farm. I do, however, run for parts, dinners and farmers. And when times are hard, I try my darnedest to find the silver lining.
During planting season, our farm community sunk into a collective pity party. Every social media post, conversation at the coffee shop, or after church 'How's-it-going?' resulted in lamenting the latest weather forecast, market report or crop outlook. One evening, as another inch of rain fell, I observed My Farmer rocking on the front porch watching his best-laid plans and what little crop was planted drown in a muddy pond. My heart broke. What silver lining was left?
The next morning, the sun rose reminding me silver linings do exist.
That day, via Facebook, I asked folks to share what they are grateful for. Crying about the latest rain wasn't getting us anywhere except in a darker headspace. Reading the subsequent thread of thankfulness, though, made us smile. I asked My Farmer and kids to list their silver linings.
My farm boy shrugged, "We'll be planting still when school's out. I've never gotten to be a part of the full planting season before."
Farming is hard. It always has been; always will be. I hope we can grow old never seeing another spring like 2019. This will be a long summer for many of us and reminders will likely linger well beyond harvest.
An attitude of gratitude will not make all these issues magically disappear, but it might help get us to another day and another season. If you can't see through the darkness or know someone who can't, please don't suffer in silence. Reach out and remember that you are not alone.
Editor's Note: Katie Pratt writes, tweets, farms and "likes" agriculture from north central Illinois. Find her blog at theillinoisfarmgirl.comand follow her on Twitter @KatiePratt4.
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