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  • John Hogeland

Time is on My Side

Updated: Oct 26, 2019

I have always had a hard time conceptualizing time, and I think that it is partly because I grew up on the farm.

Time goes slowly on the farm.  Oh, it has it's paces, the summer's long days stretch the hours and there is so much daylight that it's hard to know when to have supper.  And winter's short days leave us with hours in the house to fill with whatever we can find.  But the bigger arbitrary demarcations, like days of the week, weeks and months, begin to fade into the background, only relevant when we need to go to the bank and realize that it is Sunday, or when we are planning time with friends and have to set a date and time to meet.  


The seasons set my schedule, with freeze or thaw, rain or sun indicating when it is time to go to town or to be in the field.  Trips to visit a friend wait for rain and a short period of dry weather can mean 20 hours of work a day.  Work that needs to get done is dictated by when it is expected to rain or freeze, not when it is convenient to my schedule.


My love for friends and family set time for me. Like here on my 50th birthday where all of these amazing people gathered to celebrate.

The thing inside me that replaces the artificial time signatures of our world is the love that I bear for others.  I haven't seen my sons for months, and the dull ache of missing them sits inside me, prodding me to call, text and write.  Friends not seen in too long create a void where something should be and moves me to fill it somehow.  As strange as it may seem, the holes in my heart, these are become my days, weeks and months.


This picture is from years ago, but reminds me how much I miss "spending time" with my sons.

The flow of time on the farm is in our genes, much more similar to what our ancestors lived than our modern schedules ruled by office meetings and dinner reservations.   It teaches me to be at peace with things that happen in my world that I cannot change or control.  It is a great gift - to be in the moment and to not fret about what is - a gift I would give to the world if I could.