“Behind the Wheel” posts are my experiences and perceptions during this project and how I’m holding up on the journey.
My family thinks I’m nuts. As do my friends, some acquaintances, a few colleagues, the majority of farmers I’m visiting and about 90% of all strangers that cross my path.
“You’re doing what, girl?!”is the milder of the average question posed at me when I pull up in my 22-year-old station wagon, still rockin’ the wood panels on the side, with homemade curtains (to cover my 7-month stash of supplies, gear and life necessities) billowing in the wind.
And after I explain that I’m driving 12,000 miles around the country interviewing farmers of color by myself – as if it’s the most common response in the world – “You’re crazy, girl,” is always the definitive closure to that conversation.
And maybe I am. Thus far, after four weeks on the road, I’ve already slept in 11 different homes, driven about 2,000 miles, subsisted on peanut butter, trail mix and pretzels between farms and gotten lost more times than I care to admit at the moment (I’m also not going to admit that I’m driving with a GPS).
It’s been amazing though. I live for this – regardless of how crazy it makes me. I just see it a different way. I see it is as being blessed with the opportunity to be welcomed into the homes of amazing change-makers, beautiful souls and wise, weathered mentors who are imparting their knowledge, memories and profound visions for the future onto me. All I can think is “How did I get this lucky? How is this my job?”
Maybe you just have to be a little crazy to seek out the work you love.