Plowing into the New Year
Obviously, I have a thing for old tractors. I'm drawn to them, the same way a bee's drawn to honey.
Last summer, I dragged my husband and daughter, to an antique tractor show at a local fairgrounds. We weren't there ten minutes, when my eye spied this tiny antique toy tractor, sitting on a table at a flea market that shared the fairgrounds with the tractor show. I knew I had to have it.
It caught my eye again this morning, sitting there on the shelf above my kitchen sink. I admired it as I poured myself a first cup of coffee. I have no idea if the thing has any value. I don't even know how old it is, but I love it.
A few months after the tractor show, Rick and I were bumming around a little neighborhood grocery store not far from our cottage, when my eye lit upon a cheap metal sign, advertising a CASE SIX CYLINDER FIVE-PLOW DIESEL TRACTOR. For only ten dollars, how could I go wrong? That sign now sits on a bookshelf above my computer. It's there for inspiration.
So what's with the tractors? Why do I find them so appealing? I love what they represent! They're vestiges of the American spirit of rugged individualism.
The old tractors, and crumbling grain silos that litter the landscape along America's highways, and byways, are symbols of vanishing values. They're survivors of a by-gone era when the spirit of individualism reigned supreme; when hard-work, ingenuity, and sacrifice paid-off. Built tough, and made to last, they are in many cases, all that's left of somebody's dream of financial independence.
As I gaze upon the old tractors, I like to imagine the callused old farmers that climbed aboard them, full of expectation as they prepared the earth for planting. They were pragmatic men that believed in God, accepted hardship, and spoke the truth. They resisted taking charity, but they were the first to offer it. They never rested on their laurels. They paid their bills, fed their families, and planted again the next season.
Each year at this time, we're encouraged by our pop culture, to make resolutions affirming our intention to eat healthy, lose weight, get-back-in-shape. These are what I call, vanity resolutions - top dressing. I sincerely doubt, the old farmers or their families, had to worry about such things. As individuals, I suggest we resolve to dig our own personal furrows a little deeper this year, to enrich our home soil, so the seeds we plant grow tall and strong.
The events of the past year have proven, that we can no longer afford to be a disposable society. As a nation, we must go back to building things, and relationships, of substance and value. We must go back to investing our time, money and energy into things that last!
All photos taken by Mrs. Green Jeans 2010