Working on a book

Every Wednesday I take my kids to preschool and after dropping them off, I write. A day a week, mine.

For seven years I've tried working on the book, but now it's getting done.

An excerpt from part about working on a farm near Hundalee, New Zealand's south island:




"I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the ground. I mean, sure, it was somewhat ‘pebbly’ so rather than digging through soft dark soil it was a bit like digging in a sandpit or at the beach, the earth was dry and running down my fingers, leaving very little dust behind.

But something more than that was ‘off’. I couldn’t figure out what, and for several days I weeded the salad plants, wondering what the heck was wrong - either with the earth or with my head for trying to figure out what was wrong with the earth.

Until one day it suddenly hit me.

In all of my time on the farm I hadn’t come across a single worm.

At first the realisation left me with a cold layer down my skin, and a sort of a confusion over whether I was mistaken. Surely there had been some sort of worms in the ground, somewhere, in the weeks I had already spent at the farm?

But…

...there weren’t.

I kept weeding hundreds of metres of salad rows that day, and I didn’t come across a single worm.

It wasn’t just worms; insects in general - there just weren’t any. There were weeds amongst salad plants, birds on the trees surrounding the farm, dolphins in the ocean below - but there weren’t insects living in the ground. At all.

I couldn’t have explained it back then how uncomfortable that knowledge had made me. I eat vegetables that come from a ground insects are incapable of living in?"

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