"Keeper of the Flame"
March 22, 2021
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for a good playlist. Need a few tunes to jam out to while feeding calves? I’ve got a playlist for that. Want some new music to listen to during spring planting? I’ve got you covered. No matter the situation, I can come up with a list of songs to fit any mood.
But when the calendar transitioned from 2020 to 2021, my overall mood was in a state of confusion. I was hopeful for better times ahead, fearful of what the future held and intimidated by the changes yet to come. But like always, I turned to music to help sort through my thoughts and motivate me for the year ahead.
One winter evening after a chilly night in the barn, I came home to whip up something quick for dinner. My motivation to cook was at a -10, so I figured some music would help me scrounge up a little ambition.
I pulled out a few pots and pans before yelling ‘Hey Alexa, play some country music.’ As I stared blankly at my refrigerator trying to come up with something to cook for dinner, Alexa started to play a song I hadn’t heard in years. It was called “Keeper of the Flame” by Miranda Lambert, and it pretty much summed up the emotions I’ve felt so far in 2021. Here’s how it starts off:
“I’m walking in their footsteps. I’m singing their old songs. Somebody blazed this trail I’m treading on.
“I’m bent but I’m not broken. I’m stronger than I feel. I’m made of flesh and bone, not made of steel.
“I’m the keeper of the flame, the teller of the story. The keeper of the flame, for the one’s that came before me. For the little pilot lights waiting to ignite, like fireflies in the rain. Keeper of the flame.”
When those lyrics rang out over the speaker, I had a bit of an epiphany. As farmers, we are the keepers of the flame. No matter if we are a first-generation farmer or the sixth, we continue to care for our family, farm and animals during both the good times and bad. Even when we’re almost at our breaking point, we’re stronger than we feel and continue to keep pushing forward, carrying the tradition of farming with us.
I added that song to my 2021 playlist that night and I’ve played it multiple times since then. Whenever I’m needing a little motivation, a pick-me-up or just a simple reminder to be thankful, this song has become my go-to.