This Friday I experienced some serious dejà vu. I was minding my business weighing some grass-fed beef and pricing it, when someone ran into the building and said, “Kelly smashed her fingers pretty bad and I think she needs to go to the hospital!” Since I went to the hospital little over a month ago also for a sliced finger, I was quickly volunteered to drive her to the hospital. Four hours of sitting in an emergency room brings up a lot of conversation about health care reform. But that’s not what this post is about.
She smashed the middle and ring finger in between a trailer and the hitch. Not a good place for fingers to be! She ended up with eleven stitches. I was supposed to be on weekend duty with her, but we made up for it with the four hours of conversation in the ER. The doctor was very nice, and even got the farm’s number for some grass-fed beef. The nurse regaled us with some vivid ER stories and commentary about society and the problems with African-American culture (of which she was a part).
It wasn’t what either of us expected to do on a beautiful fall day in Texas. It was a reminder of the dangers of life and work. I guess even a cubicle farm has paper cuts, freak stapler accidents and the like. It seems that we’re obsessed with being injury free. Not that I wish harm to anyone, but getting hurt is kind of just part of life. If you don’t get your heart or some bones broken at some point you’re not really living. Kelly knew it was stupid that she stuck her fingers where they shouldn’t have been. I knew better than to stick my finger in a fridge fan without looking. Our injuries don’t have the best stories to go with them. You don’t have to get mauled by a bear to feel alive, but stitches and/or a broken bone are part of stepping out your front door and engaging the world around, even more if you live on a farm or work with your hands.
I guess what I’m saying is that part of farming and changing the world is not being afraid to get dirty. It also means not being afraid to smash your fingers now and then.