The Crop Report

The Crop Report | We are with you, Hoos

The Crop Report | We are with you, Hoos

This week has felt a little different. The farm has such a buzzing energy 365 days a year that you can feel the connections growing through the crops. So much of it is beautiful, fun, and joyful, and as eternal optimists, it’s easy for us to focus on all the warm fuzzies in our profession. But life is not always the emotional sanctuary that we feel on the farm. Sometimes the things we deal with are much harder and more complicated, and when I am smacked with the harshness of the other side of reality, I feel a deep gratitude for walking this journey.

This past Sunday I found myself and my oldest child on the University of Virginia's campus during the active shooter lockdown. It was easily the most traumatic and scary event of my life. Protecting my child and finding safety in crowds of folks who felt alone and trying to process these same fears was my reality.

Hearing the PA systems from inside the buildings and on the streets, replaying for hours with the active shooter message of “hide, run, or fight for your life”, was surreal in the most horrific way. Even though we were surrounded by many officers and resource helpers, it was hard to swallow that this is the state of reality that we live in right now. It shook me. My oldest child, however, managed the situation far better than me. And after a few quiet hours of lockdown, we started to talk and process what was happening together.

I confessed to her that the PA announcement was really jarring, and her response I will never forget. She said, “Mom, I know, but it’s the same words they use in our school shooter drills. We all have three basic choices in a traumatic situation like this one, but sometimes we are so paralyzed in fear we can’t think of what those choices are. If we hear them, then we can use the few seconds we have to pick the right choice instead of using our time to recall what those choices are. Don’t be scared of the PA - it’s a tool to keep us safe.” At that moment I realized I could learn a lot from the next generation. You see, none of us WANT this as our reality but it’s still happening and at least the next generation is being taught some basic tools to navigate it better than me.

There is a lot of pain and heartbreak felt for our Charlottesville community as this tragic loss is navigated. And whether it’s through flowers, hugs, phone calls, or visits we need to check on each other and process the hard sides of love the best we can as a community. If you want to make a donation, here is a link to the verified GoFundMe accounts organized by the victim's families. 

The holidays are quickly approaching and I’m going to spend this season hugging a little longer, chatting a few more minutes, and really being present in the lives I have the privilege of connecting with. If you need a hug I’m here.

XOXO, Jess

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