A lot can happen in 7 minutes...

Storyteller Aaron Calafato uses 7 minute vignettes to share his memories, explore his psyche and attempt to make sense of the world.

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Me, Paul Harvey and the Farmer

| S:1 E:48

After a turbulent few weeks in America, I took a long drive to search for answers. What I discovered rejuvenated my faith in mankind.

CORI INTRO

You're listening to seven minute stories with Aaron Calafato this episode: Me, Paul Harvey and the farmer.

AARON CALAFATO - STORY

It's been a really tough couple of weeks in America, and I am one of the lucky ones and so are you if you're listening to this. And I don't know about you but I've been trying to figure out how to navigate this. You know? How to find direction in a world that seems very turbulent and very unclear. As a parent, how do you shield your kids and protect them and teach them at the same time. Every other word you hear is I can't believe we live in this world I can't believe it's come to this. Social media is a cesspool. The news cycle is a cesspool. And I mean that in the sense that these are not places to really find reflection.

These are not places to really have discourse and to communicate with people or to air your differences in comment threads. That's just not the space. And I've learned that the hard way, so, years ago I decided when it comes to real stuff, real reflection, I'm gonna get out of the cloud and I'm going to get into life. And I think about how our ancestors got through some of the most turbulent times, the most horrific times in human history. The thing that human beings have used, for all of human history, as an anchor to figure out a direction to overcome... is story. It's story. its myth. its fable. It's as simple and can be as simple as a nighttime story that you tell your child. Or in an Aesop fable that you learn growing up. And the reason why these things endure and that I know that that they're so important is that they're not held hostage by the contemporary moment...

They're not held hostage by a political persuasion or an issue or geography or a monarchy or a political system or an economic system. They.. Stories right? Myth. Fables... transcend all of that.

That's why a person in Germany and Japan and America and South America at all different times on Earth can hear one singular story and understand its moral truth. Understand the meaning of it. Get reflection from it. Because it's the human language. And so even in times like this for myself I'm like: you know what? I gotta to dive back into story to figure out a direction to get through this tough time. That's where I get my sustenance. And so the other day I got in the car and I decided I was going to turn on the AM radio to see if any sort of story, not news, you know... but just something would pop up and I put it on auto scan and I took a drive 20 minutes south into rural America into the countryside. And it always brings me calm, and the highway turned into you know a state road in the state road turned into a country road and the country road turned dirt road ....and I kept driving and driving out into the fields now ....and the wind is just orchestrating them, it's a summer's night it's beautiful, the sky is burnt orange... I open the windows and the wind comes in I take a breath and I look out. And the fireflies are starting to come up and communicate with each other with light. And the rolling hills and the wind is orchestrating the trees... and out in the distance on one of these rolling hills I see a farmhouse, a white farmhouse, and I pull up respectably close on the dirt road and I pull over and put my hazards on.

I just look and I see these two farmers out on tractors and one guy has two horses and he's plowing the field, right in front of me, and I'm watching these guys and I look out at the at the white farmhouse and I see some of their families sitting on the swing and swinging back and forth watching them as they try to get work in before the day ends. And just at that moment on the AM radio a speech by the great Paul Harvey comes on called: So God Made a Farmer right at that moment... and so I'm looking out at this scene and this speech comes up and I'm going to recite it for you at the end of the seven minute stories and I'm not going to sound like Paul Harvey but maybe this speech will speak to you in the way that it spoke to me. That if we want to bear fruit in this beautiful society of ours we have to approach it with the grace, the humility, the strength and the compassion, and the hard work of a farmer….

RECITES PAUL HARVEY”S SPEECH

And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said I need a caretaker. So God made a farmer. God said I need somebody willing to get up before dawn. Milk cows work all day in the fields milk cows again eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board. So God made a farmer.

I need somebody was arms strong enough to rustle a calf. And yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs and tame cantankerous machinery come home hungry have to wait lunch until his wife is done feeding visiting ladies and then tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon and mean it! So God Made a Farmer.

God said I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt and watch it die, then dry his eyes and say: maybe next year. I need somebody who can shape an axe handle for a persimmon sprout. Shoe a horse with a hunk a car tire, who can make a harness out a Haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps and who planting time and harvest season will finish his 40 hour week by Tuesday noon, then, painin from tractor back..put in another seventy two hours. So God Made a Farmer.

God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay and ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in midfield and raced to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor’s place. So God Made a Farmer.

God said I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink combed pellets who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken wing of a meadowlark. It had to be somebody who had plowed deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week's work with a five mile drive to church. Somebody who'd bail a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing. And who would laugh and then sigh.

And then reply with smiling eyes. When his son says he wants to spend his life doing what dad does.

So God made a farmer.

CORI OUTRO

I hope you enjoyed the episode. A lot of people have been coming up to Aaron and I at parties sending emails and calling to tell us how much they loved the podcast and ask when the next episodes coming out. A great way to stay connected is to visit the Web site seven minute Stories pod.com - You can also subscribe on Apple podcasts. And while you're there. Let more people know what you think about Aaron and his storytelling by rating and leaving a review.

Lastly the biggest compliment you can give us is to share your favorite episode with friends on social media. Thanks again for listening!

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