Enklaste Lyckan

In the fields I feel like a potato-fingered peasant in an oil painting, oblivious until looking up to where the edge of the un-plowed reeds meets the pine forest threshold, I feel something like wind on my face. Sensing myself teetering on the dangerous edge of romanticism, I focus all my energy on a single carrot shoot and subsequently am reminded that I am, after all, crawling through rows of dirt on my knees.

Weeding is drudgery.

And suddenly, in the fields I feel like a strawberry-picker in California’s Central Valley. The coolness of the air reminds me that, really, I’m not, and instead I’m overcome  by the strangeness of the fact that sort of life I’m in is one where working on a farm was a choice I made for pleasure.

The raspberry bushes on the edge of the fields are loaded with small, white and bitter unripe berries—hardly worth picking—since the branches are unmercifully thorny and interlaced with stinging nettles. I thought the berries just needed time. Sure enough after a night’s rain the bushes are popping red, and nettles be dammed, I soon find myself with a mouthful of fresh raspberries. The indulgence, really, is less in the sweetness and more in childlike fantasies of rural simplicity.

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