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  • Writer's pictureThe Farmer's Wife

Tale of Two Seasons

This month, Farmer Jonathan brings us a taste of what he listens to during his tractor time... with a little farmer spin on it :).

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. It was the spring of snow; it was the winter of mud. It is life in the temporary, it is life for the eternal. 

When the dark days of winter start to give way to the new days of spring, and the peepers are loud enough to sing me to sleep over the sound of my fan, “men with cadaverous faces emerge into the winter light from cellars” and look for the crocuses and tulips covered in snow. 

What do we want? Usually, we want whatever we don’t have. Just ask any farmer how he felt about a muddy winter and a  snowy spring. We’d like our cake, while we eat it too.

This morning when I was talking with our milk tester, he mentioned that we would have all the fields planted by the time he comes again… that is, if the weather cooperates. What do we really want? I thought we were having a drought? Then it rains for a couple of days and we want some dry weather. It sounds like we’re immensely picky. When there’s rain, we ‘need’ it dry, and when it’s dry, we need the rain. I admit that ‘playing’ in the mud while trying to feed cows quickly moves the slider on my contentment whistle to the lower notes of my scale.

Grumbling about the rain quickly changes with a bit of perspective as my milk tester talks about his wife's battle with cancer. Suddenly we’re blasted into a reordering of our priorities. 

There’s a way that we want life to be. I always think that life would be better if only it was according to my design. I echo the madam from the Tale of Two Cities; “tell wind and fire where to stop, but don't tell me.” Then things beyond our control, as with wind and fire, take hold of our realities and remind us that we are mere humans. When a community is rocked with tragedy, we realize what we really care about. When our life is beyond our design, we must trust another.

Recently, when all the petals fell off some flowers onto our dining room table, my daughter gasped and said, “It’s beautiful!”.

She sat in awe as the pile of wilted petals looked up in dismay at its spindly stems left in the mason jar. Sometimes, lying in life’s ashes, we can better see the Bible, prophesying about the coming Messiah, foretelling of Jesus when it says He will “bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of despair.” It is then we call out to Him in our desperation because he says, “the LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

The transition between winter and spring can be a time of struggle. It can also be a time of great excitement. There can be pain between the two seasons. Beauty and new life along with the muddy and wet cold. New flowers brave the elements as they’re blown by the cold, wet wind. 

We often grow accustomed to the struggle, as though it were a permanent reality. My kids adjust to the winter cold, so fifty degrees calls for donning swimsuits.

I need to remind them that I’m not going to help them get out the sprinkler until the thermometer says something more like eighty.  

The same is true in life. We’ve become so accustomed to brokenness, disease, death and hardship that we forget the One who says, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.” We’ve forgotten that this life is but an internship for our eternity. We’ve forgotten the tale of two realities. 

Don’t get stuck in the mud.

Look up from the ashes and see the Artist who promises beauty from them.

He is gentle and kind and will carry you through your tale - no matter how it unfolds.


Meet your farmer - Jonathan Gerdes. He and his wife run a farm-to-table Raw Milk dairy and farm airbnb in Caledonia, MN. If he isn’t in the barn,  you can find him dating his wife, playing with his kids, leading youth group, or flying in the sky. Visit for more info. 

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