We, my husband and I, spent yesterday morning on "field duties." That is, we went to visit and check on some rice fields and mango orchards belonging to our family.
Wow, that sounded fancier than it actually is!
I was entrusted with the task of caring for our inherited properties by my grandmother as early as about two and a half years ago. I don't know why she decided to pass the task on to me instead of her daughters but I'm glad I accepted because even though I don't do the actual manual labour, seeing successful harvests brings as much satisfaction to me as though I'd been the one who worked the land.
I suppose some of those who read this might think, "You can say that because you earn from their hard work." I'm not saying it's not true. I do get paid a small portion of what they earn but what brings me the most satisfaction though is seeing the fields teeming with life. I may or may not have mentioned it before: I am unusually terrible at cultivating plants, so much so that even cacti would die from my attentions (or lack thereof).
Doing what we do to check these properties--crossing rivers, crossing the earthen borders marking each plot of rice land--means, to me, a kind of return to the simple pleasures. I know I cannot survive doing that for myself as my own personal line of work. I'm too much of a "city kid" to successfully manage it. But academically, I can understand the processes involved and potential issues allowing me to converse comfortably about farming.
It is a very underrated, difficult, and incredibly rewarding profession which I am proud to be part of even if it's only vicariously.
In two months' time we'll be returning for the harvest period. That will be very exciting since we will see then the fields refreshed and ready for the next planting season.