“The miracle of the seed and the soil is not available by affirmation; it is only available by labor.”-John Rohn
My family is a family of farmers.
Every summer we grow watermelons and sell them at the local farmers market. It is a long, hot and tiring process, but we do it because we have to make a living. We have to plow the field with the tractor, go into the field by hand and lay down the black plastic and use the soil to hold it down. The plastic is the most important part of planting watermelons. It is the foundation for them. It helps them grow straight and it keeps the weeds from getting into them. My grandfather, now 75 years young, goes into the field with all of our family: my mother, grandmother, dad, and I, and the planting begins. Using only his hands and a digging tool, my grandfather makes holes in the ground for the plants. It important that he is the one to smash the tool into the ground, because only he knows the right amount of space it takes between each plant. If you plant them too close together they will kill each other, (I suppose that is why my sister and I get along; we’re six years apart) by taking up each others water and they won’t have room to breathe. While my grandfather digs the holes, my mom, dad and I position the plants in the holes. I crawl on my hands and knees through the dirt in the hot sun to place watermelons in the dirt. I crawl because it hurts my back to stay bent over for hours. My grandmother follows behind us with gallons of water and miracle grow to give life to the plants. This job is set only for me-maw because only she knows the right mixture to make the plants grow to their potential. Once the plants have their foundation and their needs met we let them grow and sometimes during dry summers we have to water them, but for the most part they do okay on their own. After a few weeks we go back out into the field and chop or pull away a few stray weeds. It takes awhile for the melons to grow to their full potential, but with love and care they grow to be several pounds and then we are off to the farmers market to sell them.
I have learned so much of life from the land that I help tend. My life lessons growing up could always be related to the lessons I have learned in the field. I think the watermelons have taught me the most, about life, patience, hard work, and the importance of family. I have discovered that my family is the black plastic that was laid before me as my foundation so that the weeds or bad influences of the world would stay away from me. Now, I am able to be fruitful. Despite the fact that sometimes a few weeds get to the watermelons they still grow large and plentiful, because of the plastic. My grandfather started it all but my mother and father gave me life and my grandmother helped me grow, with the right amount of love and tenderness. They all have cared for me and helped keep weeds out of my life.
It is important to always have people in your life that will help you be a better person. Those people can be anyone as long as they help you grow. In my life those people have been family, friends and relationships, but all of them, in some way or another have helped me in the field of life.
My life as a watermelon in the field has been a great one; I am happy and still have the most of the summer to grow.