My father’s had a number of offers on his land. Some of them, he says, have been made by folks with pretty deep pockets.
My father is in his early sixties. He’s talked about retirement on and off for a couple of years.
Once, when I asked my mother why Da didn’t just quit farming and come home to teach, she sighed and said, “because there’s something about the land that won’t let him go. And he *can’t* let it go.”
So it’s a strange thing to be thinking about; this farm, this land that I resented and hated for years, this land that I later realise I love, that I can’t get out of my own thoughts, this land might not be his anymore.
I harboured dreams of farming it for a while, but the reality is that I’m not going to manage two sections on my own. My boys would like to try it, or so they say now, but in 15 years, who knows?
My mind goes back, time and time again, to the romantic memories – the boys, driving on the same tractors I drove on with my Gramps, with my Da. Last year, I took The Captain down to the spot I used to spend the sweltering evenings, with the smell of clover and the rustling of barley heads all around. I knew he’d probably never have the same attachment to it that I do, and I certainly don’t have the same attachment to it my father does, but I think I understand.
He has given everything to his farm; his youth, his family, his career, his pain, his lonliness and his fear.
I don’t know what’s going to happen. But I know it’s breaking my heart.
This crappy picture is from Grande Moote III, a werewolf game played on my father’s farm: