Dans tes pas
To grandpa Pierre-Jean,
How many times did you tread on that earth?
How many times did you look at those fields?
What does someone feel when the weather can turn into a friend or an enemy for his harvests?
What does someone feel when he sees the crops growing? The wheat stalks climbing higher?
I see you walking again with a determined stride, your flat cap on your head, always in action, always imaging new projects. You gave yourself over to your farming profession.
Talking with Grannie, I realized just how painful giving up the farm had been for you. I’d have liked to ask you more questions about that occupation, so essential, and now gradually disappearing.
So, I decided to walk a bit in your footsteps, and set off to meet the people who continue to work the land around the farm. They often talk to me about you.
Marcel tells me the story of the farm you acquired with Grannie in 1963. His two sons, Jean-François and Pierre, took up the reins. They often pass by the farm, on their tractor. I also met Odette, a retired farmer neighbor, who rides her bike in front of your house. And I discover how much the desire for continually more hectares can make someone unhappy. But what sticks with me is that taste for working the land, the love for that life in tune with the seasons.
But I asked myself why no one took over from you. I followed dad, the son of a farmer too, in his work for the bank to understand his connection with the earth.
Memories, smells came back to me. The smell of freshly harvested potatoes on the sorting table. The bread-and-spread cut in two that we’d just delivered to you in the fields in the C15 with Grannie.
In your footsteps, I tried to get closer to you.
I miss you.