Holler fest or folly?

Years ago, an acquaintance of mine started a newsletter. It was a fine little four or six-page newsletter, but the editor's column seemed to regularly dwell on how difficult it was to publish the newsletter. After reading various versions of this complaint, I found myself thinking, "Well, we didn't ask you to start this newsletter; it was your idea!"

Okay, last month (August), we decided to celebrate our 35 years on the farm with a two-day festival called Holler fest. The fest is now one week away and there is a lot to do -- a lot to do. And we have already done a lot. It has been way more work than we anticipated, but then we would never have decided to do it if we had known how much work it would be! I know, you didn't ask us to hold a music festival; it was our idea.

One of the abiding pleasures of being a family farm is working with my sons. One day, not long ago, we were stuck in the greenhouse transplanting hundreds, maybe more than a thousand, tiny lettuce seedlings. Conversation passed the time, and turned toward the length and breadth of the cosmos -- and then toward infinity -- and then, in the face of inconceivable lack of limits, toward mortality. I asked with a sigh what to do, considering the temporal circumscription of our life. A short pause, and then my son replied, "Don't hold back."

Holler fest looms in one week. There is a ton of work to do. But I'm not complaining, and I'm not holding back. Hope to see you there!


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