Slow Down, Farm Up your Life
I was speeding by on my bike, too busy for my own good. But I glanced across the road and the tranquil repose of this gentlemen struck me instantly. I sailed past, but something had punctured my heart. I hit the brakes and turned back. I introduced myself to the farmer gazing across his pint-sized paddy and asked if I could take a couple of shots. He smiled, raised an eyebrow and asked why anyone would want to take a photo of him. I said I didn’t know really, but the scene just felt so peaceful.
This is Shinjiro. He is 78 and undergoing substantial medical treatment that makes him weak. He’d been to the hospital that day, but he was happy getting back into the field, seeping his feet into the mud and churning the clod for another season’s crop. He said no-one goes barefoot these days. Much the pity.
Speaking with Shinjiro gave me a sense of peace and connection I don’t normally feel in my everyday life. The kind of peace only people connected to the earth can give – it seeps in through the soles of their feet. Next day I printed up a few shots and dropped them off. His wife answered the door and wondered how much money I wanted. I was lost for words. Little did she know I had already been paid handsomely.