Mark and his brothers often speak of how much their Pap obsessed over picking beans. All three of them remember more than one occasion when Pap would find his way back to the bean rows, even after a full day's work. Though I never knew him, I often think about Mark's Pap as we pick beans. There are certain tasks that call to us - ranges of motion that feel ingrained in our bones. Those rhythms become magical in a way. Over time, those routines define us.
I turned 30 on July 6th and I have to say, I feel a difference. I feel more acutely aware of my place, a bit more in step and in tune. I feel the call to contribute, to work more and worry less. But in the same turn, I have accepted that I need more space and solitary moments than the average person. I think I'm beginning to understand why Pap needed to pick beans. Beans grow so quickly; one day they are too young, and the next they're a bit too tough. If you aren't consistent and true to task, moments will be missed. Small accomplishments build and build on top of each other over time, until one day you glance back and realize just how much work you've actually done. The little things, the moments that seem insignificant are the ones that comprise our foundations. A few hours here, an afternoon there, and suddenly a lifetime is behind you. The goal is to feel gratitude in the moment as much as possible, not just in the end.