Farmers are hard workers. They and us share similarities. We plough a singular furrow through life, unwavering and determined. Their lives are full yet they never really have time or opportunity to connect fully with other people because they have so many demands. They till the field and broadcast the seed, tending to the various crops as they watch and wait allowing the barley or corn, the potatoes or beet to grow to the optimum position before moving quickly to harvest them whilst the sun shines and they can garner the very best from their endeavours. Once a particular harvest has been safely gathered in, they once would burn the stubble and what had been built up was now cut down and razed to the ground so that it returned to the earth. Animals need to be fed, mucked out, treated for disease and tended to when they give birth to new offspring. Buildings must be maintained, fences repaired, the weather watched and produce sold. Cows have to be milked, sheep shorn and pigs sold to bring home the bacon. Lambing time is a repeated battle to ensure the lambs are safely delivered with the farmer rising through the night to assist a particular ewe who may be struggling with her birth. Having helped bring forth the lamb, from the ewe being tupped, to giving birth, the lamb is then sent for slaughter. Again, that which he has built must be destroyed. It is a repeated and endless cycle, much like that which we adopt.
It is the tenth day of a silent treatment. I have removed all contact with you and left you concerned, anxious and bewildered. It is the fourth silent treatment in as many months and each one becomes longer than the one before. You have yet to work and understand what this signifies and fortunately for me you are engaged in trying to work out what is wrong and trying still to contact me. Your repeated messages and telephone calls all provide me with the negative fuel as I envisage you sat there, worried and unsettled as you tap in another text message pleading with me to get in contact with you. I picture you lying awake at night, repeatedly glancing at your ‘phone in the hope that it will light up with a response from me. You wonder what I am doing during this absence and because of who you are, your thoughts are based on concern. Have I fallen ill or something worse? Have I suffered some bad news and become depressed? Have I become a recluse? Your enquiries of my friends have proven fruitless but then they would since my coterie and Lieutenants have all been briefed that you have been horrible to me and therefore they should not respond in any helpful fashion. You hit a brick wall of resistance which puzzles you all the more. The rolled-eyes as a lieutenant shakes his head and hurries away from you as you halt your approach with confusion gripping you. You wonder whether I am locked away somewhere, engulfed in grief. In fact, I am busy hoovering your predecessor who I had just subjected to a lengthy silent period. My time away from you is not spent playing video games, watching cable television or sleeping. Not at all. Just like the farmer, I am busy tending to my crops. I am contacting all my various secondary sources of fuel, giving them a blast of golden sunshine so that their attraction to me does not wane. A few drinks with one set of inner circle friends, some flirtatious text messages with some remotes strangers and drinks with an outer circle friend who is a serious candidate for promotion to an intimate partner if I should tire completely of you and your predecessor. I am sowing the seeds, repairing the fences, milking the cows and shearing the sheep. So much to do. I am also applying my endeavours to the hoover on your predecessor and this is occupying my time as I apologise to her for my period of silence. I explain that I needed to be alone, to assess where my life was leading me and I am sorry I disappeared without saying anything but it just descended on me. I realised I had to change but I wanted to make sure that this was a real, deep-seated desire, not some butterfly like passing fancy and that was why I was gone for so long. I have trotted out the speech before and it is invariably successful and I see no reason why it will not be now. This will result in your silent treatment continuing beyond the tenth day as I take your predecessor back into the fold. I will hopefully be spending the night with her tonight as she has already agreed to dinner, although I will be taking her somewhere you will not find us. I do not want you knowing about her, not yet anyway. I need to safely gather this harvest in before I can boast about how many bushels I have collected. Once she has been hoovered back in I will announce our reconciliation. You will probably learn about it when you look again at my Facebook page for signs of activity. I know you are doing this activity every day, that is why I have not blocked you but there is nothing being posted, so the silence continues. It won’t for much longer and you will learn about her and I being together again, which will of course prompt a large dose of negative fuel from you once you learn of this.
Of course at some point it will be necessary to sow the seeds of seduction with you once again. You are on the cusp of having the flame applied to what remains of your relationship as I erase you, just as fire did to those cropped crops in the past. I will too busy showing off my prize animal, grooming it and feeding it, so it grows strong and plump, the envy of all those who are observing. How does he do it? What is his secret? How does he always manage to find such a prize specimen and make it his? The awards and accolades will pile up, testimony to the excellent stock that I have acquired until it is such time to lead her to the slaughter and cast her to one side, just as I have been nurturing the growth of your crop once again, watering you and allowing hot, golden sunshine to play on you once again.
This is how it is. You may think this silence is one where I am just away from you either ill, isolated or in contemplation. I am not. I am busy with your predecessor, just like the farmer who always has something to attend to. The days roll by, the seasons come and go, but both the farmer and I have work to attend to as we grow and harvest. We are so similar. We both have crops and flocks. We both grow, nurture and develop. We both slaughter. We both harvest. We are the constant farmers.