Monday, February 13, 2012

Cultivating Memories

I've always known that I'm a sentimentalist. I tend to attach sentimental value to things that hold memories for me.

In the past few weeks, I've been feeling sentimental about, of all things, farm machinery! Yes, it's true. Melancholy for tractors, combines, ploughs and augers. Let me explain.

Last Father's Day my Dad announced to us (his children) that he was going to retire from farming. He had been contracting different jobs out over the past few years and decided now was the time to call it a day. Farming is definitely hard work and Dad wants to enjoy his golden years as a retired man. Not semi-retired. This announcement knocked the wind out of me. Farmer and Dad were always synonymous in my mind. I couldn't imagine him not working the land.

Winter is a pretty quiet time for farmers and the notion had left my mind for the most part. Until, that is, I was asked to help with some photos he wanted to post for selling his machinery. I really can't explain it, but I was so sad when I thought of the shed being emptied of its contents. It's not like I ever use this equipment myself but the fact that it was being sold for someone else to use... well, it bothered me. I asked Dad if he felt that way and he was very matter-of-fact about it. He wouldn't be needing the equipment so of course he would sell it.

Time moves on and things are constantly changing. The great thing about memories is that you will always have them. They can't be sold or shipped out. My Dad will always be a farmer in my mind, whether he's driving a combine or not. 


Kelly @ City Mom said...

I totally get this! Its symbolic of life's natural course and facing that can be depressing. For me with my dad it's running. He's always been a runner; marathons, triathlons etc. in the past few years he's done it less and less and it reminds me he's aging.

Carmi said...

Our work is so closely tied to our identity that it's perfectly understandable that the tools of our trade would take on greater meaning both to us and to those closest to us.

In many respects, they tell the stories of our lives, and when they go away, so to speak, we wonder how that loss will colour our lives going forward.

You said it so well, Janice.