I love the fact that a farm is about growing. It’s such a positive concept. I don’t live on a farm – physically anyway – but in my mind I do. Hence, the ParmFarm.

This doesn’t mean that I fantasize about milking cows or collecting eggs but I like the idea of getting up every day committed to growing what I have planted.

Farming requires faith. A belief that something will grow, even before it can be seen or measured.

That’s where I am right now. Excited by possibilities I can’t yet measure.

To me, having faith means that even when I don’t know exactly where I’m going, I know I’m headed in the right direction.

This approach is somewhat foreign to the Sheriff.

Yes, we are of different faiths, but I’m not sure our religious upbringings have anything to do with it.

It’s just that I’m a grower. He’s a builder.

Builders have a very specific plan. And, while they build, they are able to see what they’ve done at the end of each day. This very imporant because builders love to measure.

The Sheriff measures everything. And when he’s done measuring his stuff, he measures mine. After each bike ride, the Sheriff announces how many miles we went, how long it took, and our average speed. When we play golf the Sheriff keeps track of how many times I hit the fairway and how many putts I take on each green.

I pretend to find this annoying.

Sometimes I’m not pretending. But then I remember, he can’t help himself. He’s a builder. And builders are taught to measure everything. Twice.

I think most people are builders. They need to have a specific plan so they can measure their progress instead of simply having faith.

I get it.

But growers have plans too. The plan is to grow. Exactly how much you will grow or whether you will be able to sell what you have grown depends on a lot of factors but, based on previous experience, growers believe as much in their plans as builders do.

For instance, right now I am growing the ParmFarm. I do not know exactly where it will be a year from now, how it will look or what impact it will have on my life. But I do believe there will be harvest enough to share.

Just because you don’t know where you are going doesn’t mean you are lost.

I don’t feel lost. I feel excited. Kind of the same way I felt as a kid in a house of mirrors. You didn’t know exactly where you were going, but it was still fun. Especially if you ran into other people along the way. Sooner or later you’d find your way out – or, some older kid who had already done it several times would show up and say ‘follow me’.

I wanted to go through again!

But not everybody liked the house of mirrors.

I think most people feel lost when they cannot see exactly where they are going. I know this because of Penelope Trunk’s latest post. And living with the Sheriff.

Which brings me back to having faith.

The Sheriff builds. I grow. And, even though we are of different faiths, it works.

Because I have faith in my plantings. And he has faith in me.

Can I get an Amen?!


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(photo by Darren Hester)

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