My farm life experience
This is a tipical large farm, but even this is a lonely place to live.
The lonely life of the farmers
My farm life
Welcome to my article (6), my farm life experience
Dear readers, this article is the continuation of our last article ‘an old man story’, so, this article is another chapter of my life story, and there will be several more articles later, as we go on writing them or editing them, therefore, let us continue to tell you my life story.
As we all know, our lives are full of many surprises, sometimes those surprises may be good and other times they might not be that good, but we must live our lives the best way we can, whenever and wherever we happen to live at the time when those events happen. This has made me think about things that have happened since I was young. So, at this very moment, because I am mentally comparing the past with the present, and these days in June being wheat harvest time, it has come to my mind these wonderful machines that the farmers’ have today, so, I want to paste here a link about the wheat harvester that would have made life a lot easier at harvest time, if they were available when I was young, I know that our small farm could not afford one, but we could have hired one anyhow.
Now we can go back to tell you my life story.
Looking back at my own life at the time when I was young, I believe that there are times in our lives, when we don’t know whether the way that we are living our lives is good or bad for us, so, we will discover that life value much later in our lives; when we look at what we have been doing during; because it has taken us to a destiny that we thought couldn’t happen to us. Having said that, now let us talk about our lives that we have lived and continue to tell you the story of my life.
So, dear readers, here we are going to add a few more descriptions about my farm life when I was a kid, or a very young man. I have to say, that from my own point of view, there are reasons to believe that once you have read my farm life story that I am writing here, you are going to agree with me that the way of life that I had, including some of those other youths, who had to live like me during those old times in the farms, it was a way of life that to most of us today may seem archaic, unreal and to say the least unfair, and indeed it was really unfair to myself and to all those youths that ended up in a similar position as myself in their small family farms.
But at the time when this happened it did not seem that bad while we were there, because we were so young when we started to work in the farms, so, we didn’t know and everybody else thought that this sort of life had been practised from our forebears for many generations before us, therefore, we were not aware then of the adverse influence that it would bring to us in the future, as we didn’t know then that we were placed in a disadvantaged situation; even our parents did not see how bad the situation could become to some of us, because they could not see how fast life was going to change, and even if they did guess that things were going to change, they didn’t know what else to do, since nobody knew in those times anything else, except that they had to follow the previous generations. So, let us talk about this unfair situation that we were in, while working in the farms in those times.
The traditional farm animals
Farm life unfair situation
The farm life unfair situation
Now, this situation that I am talking about here was most unfair to us youths, because it affected only us in the farms, but not all the young citizens of this somewhat rich rural town of Genzano di Lucania, because they would be living a better life in town; (Here rich rural town means only Genzano town, by comparison to other rural towns of southern Italy that surround it).
So, as it happened then, we a portion of the young citizen of Genzano became caught in a disadvantaged position including myself, and this position would affect us badly for the rest of our lives; but we didn’t know then that it was going to be a disadvantaged position for us in the future, and we did not know what else to do either, and there was nothing that could be done either. The few exceptions who were not put at a great disadvantaged position were those youths which their families were rich enough land owners, because it would always be an advantage for them to stay in the farms and learn their future trade and then use their farm knowledge in the future to their advantages, in their own family farms, if they had a large enough farm to run.
But for the rest of us young men who were working in small farms like myself, and did not own enough land to secure a good living in the future, what we were doing then would turn into a disadvantaged position later on, but at the same time we had no other opportunities in life but to continue the old tradition of farming, just because this same tradition of farming had been a way of life to the rural community of this agricultural town for centuries before us, and therefore, when I was young it was thought to be the only way to earn a living, if you happened to own any land at all, so, we had to be trained to be farmers in order to look after our own small farm when we would become older, and anyhow, in those times there was not much else that could be done, but this helping in the farm and training to be a farmer for us became a great disadvantage, because of the changes that followed in farming later. This way of living that I am talking about here would be better understood, if you read this other article that we have written in Hub Pages, Farming today compared to the old way, in this article we are describing how farming is changed and other ways of life as well.
Anyhow let us go back to my story, now to be fair, I must add that there were also a few other youths that their families were so poor, but they were working in the farm like us by looking after the farm animals and other small tasks, they had no land at all, so, they worked in the farm just to be fed and a few other things, or a very small pay, if the farmer could afford that.
Anyhow, nobody can be blamed for putting us youths in such a position, which in the end would result for us in a disadvantaged position: because the very same way of life had served the same community of farming well for centuries, and those people did not feel disadvantaged and were not disadvantaged at all then, just because in those times, people used to accept life the way it was, as long as they had enough food on their table every day and perhaps a few other things, they were happy. But nowadays because of the enormous change of the modern era, which has brought with it also changes in the value of work that any worker does, and for this reason we became greatly disadvantaged. But this is not all, because there are a lot more that can be said, about the way we became and the ways that we were treated from the rest of the town community. At this point of time I want to make this observation, which is that we seem to be born with a sort of destiny, because we are born in certain families, we follow the same path of our family, so, let us talk about my own destiny.
My own harsh destiny
As I was saying before, we are born in a family that somehow decides also our destiny, because of the way that family lives and have lived perhaps for centuries; but there is more to say about our destiny, because some of us would like to believe that we are born with a destiny to fulfil, and if it is so; then my destiny is not a bright one, because from the beginning of my life I have had a hard life and this has continued during my life, perhaps it will still continue until I die, but anyhow let us go back to my life story in the farm, whether it was my destiny or not.
As I have mentioned above about my own farm life when I was young, and there I reckon and feel that it was really unfair to my personal self, and to those youths that had to live in the farm as I did, this fact of life I will continue to describe to you at length and in depth as I keep writing on, since the main point that I want to make here is to show you, how I had to struggle and to suffer while I was living in the farm, and even later in the future as we will see, from these articles that I am writing. In fact, for me life was going to be much harder than I thought, since that way of life which I had lived in the farm had left me so far backward, because of that isolation that existed in the farms, I even lacked in local general knowledge about the people of the town, and also in communication skills including all those nice things that a person says and does, which would make that same person attractive to the rest of the community.
Here I have also to say that this early disadvantaged way of life has affected me greatly for the rest of my life, and although I have tried to improve myself during my life, I have never been able to catch up with the rest of the world completely. So that, I feel it within me even now, as if I will never be completely satisfied with myself, because I think that I could have been better off, if I had a different and better way of life when I was young.
But since what’s been done is done, so, one cannot go back and do it in a different way, therefore, I am/was stuck with it. Therefore, I had to put up with my backward way of life; and I had to accept that the only possible way that was left for me to earn a living for the rest of my life, had to be that I had to do hard physical work, which I did in a way or another and this hard work has helped me to overcome some of my drawbacks. From this life experience one could say that we should always try to improve ourselves and work hard for it, even when it is hard for us to find an easy way of life, if we are able to keep this attitude and work hard during our lives, we can overcome many issues that could otherwise run us down completely.
Anyhow, when all this hard and boring life was happening to us, including all those young people which used to live and work in this town’s farms, doing this same work as I did, it all seemed normal to us, because even our forebears before us did that, as they had lived this same way for centuries before us.
As I was saying my forbears used to live in this town that I was born, and in which I had to live my youth just like them. But, most of my youth and I mean the most important years of my young life, which is the time when a youth would be better off to stay in a society and learn the ways of that society, and at the same time try to find out the meanings of life, which would help him to learn how to deal with his life in the future in the society that we would be living in; all those years were spent to live in our family farm and not in the town itself, and this did put me in a disadvantaged position from the very start, as I have already mentioned before, all because everything in the world was changing too fast and farming the old way was on the way out.
Conpulsory service in the army
Breaking away from my farm life
For about twelve years I lived this farm life. The only time that I had a real break from farming was when I was called to go in the army, which in Italy was/is a compulsory service to the country, which every able young male must serve when one turns twenty-one years old or soon after that. Then when the army released me I migrated to Australia, and I was then in my early twenties. I was young and not afraid to do hard work, since I had learned in the farm that we needed to work hard to earn our living.
But let me say a few words about this service in the Italian army of those times, being in the compulsory Italian army is a hard life for anybody, for a start you are not paid, or you are paid so little that you believe that you are not paid; and then everybody laments about everything especially about the discipline, as for myself I did not find it very hard like some complain it is, but at the same time it was, because you do what you are told to do, at the same time you learn something new because you are exposed to a different way of living. But the hardest part of it all is that the compulsory army of those times, they didn’t pay us, we only got free food free clothes and just enough money to by some cigarettes if one was a smoker. Anyhow it is good to be in the army and learn a new way of life, it makes you feel better when that is over and done with; some of the old people think that after you have been in the army, you have become a man of the world, because of that extra experience that you learn in the army.
But, let me go back to tell you about my life in the farm and what it did to me. Because as I have mentioned before, the farm life of those times was not what one would prescribe for a young man like me, if one wanted me as a young man to develop my potential properly, so that, I could be ready to meet the challenge of life when I would be older, in all sorts of communities not just farming a small farm.
But you see, at the time when all this happened to me, no one could have ever thought of the forth coming changing world, and of the difficulties that I and some of the other boys that shared the same fate as me would have to face in later life. Just because the way of life happened to change so much and so fast, when we were growing up.
Now, in order to understand how unfair it was for me and for those youths of my time who ended up in the farms like myself, I have to convey to you the different set up of this town of Genzano; the way that people separate each other in classes, not because they like to be different to each other, but because they are different, and therefore, they think and talk in different ways, so they group themselves with their equal, because they feel more at ease that way: But in reality they are somehow all equal, as all the groups need each other soon or later.
There are reasons to believe that this way of life would usually happen everywhere else in the world in small towns, where there are two main groups of people in every community: There are those who live directly from the land, which are called the rural community, and those who work in town in all sorts of jobs, which would be called just town’s people and they include; shop keepers, doctors, vets, craftsmen, clerks, schools and school teachers, priests, policemen, (carabinieri which are Italian policemen), guardians, and every other sort of jobs that one can think of, in order to run a town properly; and then all the rest of the population, like whole families and women and children, so that a town would be self-reliant.
Anyhow at a certain stage of my life I started to become aware that I had to break away from this type of farm living, because a lot of things were changing and we didn’t earn enough from the small farm that we had, so it was time for us young would have been farmers to change also. But let me say a bit more about my farm life views and the town I have come from. So in my next article, let me continue to talk about my farm life views, followed by several other articles about my farm life, and then talk about the town of Genzano and its communities, to explain better how those times were, in the fifties and earlier; not only because I want to tell you my life story, but also because a sort of record is being written and kept, in these internet articles that could be available to the public for a long time in the future.
So, see you next time in my next article, my farm life views.
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