The other day at the store I caught the eye of an old farmer. I was headed to the bathroom, and went down the aisle he was standing in, and he looked up and looked me right in the eye.
We never spoke, so I don’t know for sure that he was a farmer, but he had the farmer look. The look he gave me spoke volumes to me, of the way men lived and worked in his time. It said “I do my work and I do it right. You do yours the same way and everything will work out in the end.”
I got the impression that he had worked hard all his life. it put me mind again of Garrison Keillor’s “life as farming” metaphor (life as hard labor that is subject to weather and quirks of blind fate and may return no reward whatsoever and don’t be surprised). Life is hard, but you do it, and you work it because that’s what’s to be done.
He didn’t smile or nod, he just looked at me for a sec. Then he turned and went back to studying the model trains.