Outskirts of Salento, Colombia
I awake to the grumblings of the coffeemaker coming from the small kitchen. It’s cold and still pretty dark. I sit on the edge of the bed and as I pull on my sweater, remember that I’m working in the fields now, in exchange for a bed in which I must sleep diagonally and still my feet dangle off the side and end of it.
But it’s not for the bed that I’m here. I’m here because I want a taste of this life so different from what I’m used to, or used to be used to, I don’t even know anymore.
I get to the kitchen and Alejo the artisan is frying some eggs with arepas on the side. I salt it and eat standing up. I step outside into the crisp mountain air to enjoy my coffee as I look at the mountains in the distance.
Wheelbarrow and shovel in front of me I go out into the misty fields. I remove the thick electric wire that keeps the cattle in or out, close it behind me and check to see if there’s any dung close by. I can see the dew on the blades of grass and the insects taking to flight as they greet the day, unknowing of the flycatcher that sits up on a fencepost, casually glancing over his flying breakfast menu.
It is not long before I see a break in the grass horizon. I head towards it and find a great fresh pie. I carefully clear the grass around it, using the back of the shovel like Alejo showed me. I want to get this one clean. Placing the shovel in front of it, I gently press down the grass to get under and slide in to get it in one quick motion. No breaks or cracks in it, now it’s riding shovel and the yellowing grass underneath it is revealed. And it looks thankful. I take a fraction of a second to admire its wholeness and then toss it in the wheelbarrow. I lift my gaze and lumber on, dragging everything behind me.