In a plowed field outside of my dorm room in Peru I watch a couple pick weeds. Each with hoe in hand, they move row by row, up and down the field bent over in labor. I wonder if it’s meditative work. I think tending a garden would be a valuable hobby or skill. A place to connect with the earth and my food, a place to practice patience, and a place to learn and grow because I imagine gardening can be a humbling pursuit at times. But this couple is not gardening. This is an elderly couple, alone in a corn field, bent over from a lifetime of labor. Each week they return to work their field- hoeing and weeding, up and down, row by row, bent over beneath the sun, which is intense in the high mountain atmosphere of the Sacred Valley. These people are not tending plants as a hobby; the couple are giving everything they have to these rows of corn so the plants do well and they can sell the corn, probably for a small amount of money. This couple have probably worked the same mountainside, bent over in the same beating sun for 60+ years. Yet I wonder if the work does take them to a place of meditation and connection with the earth. I wonder if the slow nature of their lives alleviates some of the stress that comes baked into a standard western rat race or if all humans are subjected to a certain level of stress no matter where they come from. Surely these Peruvian farmers must stress over the health of their family and about the rain at least. Personal relationships must stress this couple like my own stress me. But I wonder what would be their reaction if I could explain my idea of gardening to them. As this couple is bent over in the dirt year after year for a lifetime I wonder if they ever considered the work meditative or humbling or a place to practice patience? Or were they simply more interested in keeping the plants alive so they can keep themselves alive? I wonder what they would think about the idea of keeping a garden for fun, keeping a garden as a hobby. Then I wonder about the grass on the other side and what desire means to this couple in the corn field?