In the Night Farm consists of a mere five acres, a tiny slice of soil atop a hill overlooking the Idaho-Oregon border. Around us stretch miles of agricultural land dotted by a strange mixture of old and new homes.
In the old homes live old farmers and their wrinkle-faced wives. They nap in the afternoons and work their fields in the cool of dawn and dusk.
In the new homes live younger couples who moved from Boise to view the quilt squares of corn, potato, sugar beet, and alfalfa stitched together with dirt roads and irrigation canals.
At first glance, Travis and I must seem like the latter. We work by day in the city, in suits and stresses, tapping keyboards and shaking hands. But this is a ruse, an act forced upon us by the absurd difficulty of making a living, actually living.
Our real lives are on the farm, where we turn soil, pound fence posts, gather eggs, train horses, bake bread, scatter seeds, tuck newborn lambs beneath our coats. We stack hay upon this land, bury lost pets beneath it, gather it in crescents under our fingernails.
There is wisdom here.
The old farmers know this, of course. They know the value of toil, the truth in the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who wrote:
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.
But there is rest here, too. Come, at the end of the day, join us on the deck. We’ll shell peas, swap stories, and listen to the nightlife come awake as the sun tucks itself in beneath the patchwork fields.