One Family, One Stranger, Ten More Weeks

Today, I was a part of my very first farmer’s market. It was very overwhelming. I still don’t have all the prices and varieties of jams and jellies and veggies down. There were so many people, but it was a beautiful chaos. In the midst of all this, I became even more connected to the family that allows me to stay under their barn roof. I have worked alongside my employers in the fields and inside the home. I have eaten meals with them and I have really gotten to know them in this short span of two weeks. I honestly have never met such a happy, contented, and very loving family. Sure, my family was loving and wonderful. I grew up very happy, but at the same time, these people have no cares or worries in the world. They have completely and utterly accepted me with ease, as if I am one of their own. How is that emotionally possible? And, then, I am credited with maturity from my boss and also told that I have una cabeza intelligente from one of my Spanish-speaking coworkers. This family is so motivated. They are happy to work and they are so lovely to one another. Sometimes I fear I do something wrong, but I am forgiven easily. Sometimes at dinner, I thank them for something that has been offered to me, and I hear a “you bet.” Etiquette does not exist; a thank you is not necessary or expected to them. It’s almost like they want to give; they are content with getting almost nothing in return. Granted, I am working for them for three months on an internship for college credit, but they are feeding me and housing me and paying me. I am a stranger to them. I could be a serial killer. I could be thief! I could be an arsonist! I could be a wild maniac!!!! But, I am free to go as I please. I may wander and I may explore, but I am not locked up nor am I considered untrustworthy. Sometimes when I am laughing in that kitchen and adding to the piles of jokes going around the table, I feel like I belong here. I belong among the beautiful irises popping their skinny little heads through their leaves and the vibrant, long snapdragon stalks. I belong beside my boss, sweating hard in that beating sun, while I turn beds over and shovel them into place, ordering them into rows. I feel like I belong when I wake up in the morning to see the bright, neon green branches of the willow tree swinging by my window and the sun rising up above it.

But, then when night comes, I think about my friends I left and who are on their internship now like me. I have a friend in Nicaragua. Several in Ohio. My boyfriend in New Jersey. Another friend in Colorado. Some in California. It’s amazing that there are so many of us out their in the work place right now! But, at the same time, I miss them very much. I miss their companionship and their silly talks. I miss laughing with people my age! And, then there’s my family. My brother is in Canada. And then the others are back in Tennessee. It sucks, especially since it’s Easter. I hate not being home during holidays. I miss them the worst because we have traditions I won’t be a part of. Instead, I am sharing the traditions of another family. Am I burden, I wonder? I guess, that’s my problem. Maybe they can accept me with such kindness…but I can’t accept their kindness! 

And, when night comes, I can’t stop thinking about all the people I wish I had beside me. I feel so lonely sometimes. That’s when ten weeks feels like a looooong time.

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