The Farmer – A Story By Basil Rene
Once, there was a farmer that worked his land from sunrise to sunset, spring through fall. Every day he woke before the sun rose and worked all day only to stop for his lunch which he took every day under an old oak tree unless it rained. The tree stood at the tallest point of his farm and he could see his entire farm, and the river as it meandered into his land, ran alongside the barn and then out to his neighbor’s farm and down into the valley below.
“When I have my day off, I am going to bring a hammock up here and relax, read a good book and just do nothing all day” the farmer said to himself as he finished his lunch and headed back to his tractor to make his way back down the hill and continue his work until sunset.
That Sunday was his day off, and he could not wait to do what he promised himself, but it was raining, so he thought that he will do it next Sunday.
The week started and again, at lunch time, he made his way up the hill to the bottom of that old oak tree, and sitting on the ground, with his back pressed against the enormous trunk of that old tree, he looked out at all he could see and swore he would come back on Sunday and relax and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Again, the next Sunday, it rained. The following Sunday he had a wedding. The Sunday after that he had to go to a Christening. And so it went until fall and harvest time came, rain, events and life in general stopped him from keeping that promise to himself. Eventually, the season was over, but now the cold of winter was coming in and it would not allow him his wish, to just go to the top of that hill and enjoy the view and relax. It saddened him, but he promised himself he would do it the next year.
Winter came, and passed, and spring emerged. The trees leaved, flower blossomed and it was time to plant this year’s crop. Everyday he made his journey to the old oak, ate his lunch, promised himself that he would come back on Sunday and enjoy it, and left. And again every Sunday something would come up, the weather, illness, life, and he would never make it to his old oak at the top of the hill. This went on for years, the farmer, the tree and the wish. The silent frustration he held within himself, hoping one day to just be able to go up to that old oak and just relax.
For thirty years the farmer worked the land, and thirty years he made that promise to get up to the old oak on a Sunday, and it never happened. One day, the farmer never got up to tend to his farm, or make his daily lunch trip, or make his silent promise to himself to make it back on a Sunday to enjoy the view, the beauty, the old oak.
His wife, who would watch as the farmer made his daily trek to the top of the hill, knew nothing of his silent promise to himself to return on a Sunday, decided to bury her husband the dedicated farmer under the tree at the top of the hill. She had a marble stone engraved and placed at the head of his grave which read:
“Herein lies a man
Who knew the value of a hard day’s work
But still took the time everyday to sit under this tree
Relax and enjoy the beauty of life around him
May we all learn as he showed
To live in and appreciate the now
And not live for the future”