I saw happiness yesterday, that made me smile. Ok, it was on a TV show, so it was staged. But I am not talking about the show’s topic and theme related matters. But about the real life people I saw in it, that impressed me all the way. Let me explain.
It is a food show, in which German country women – I think it is six in total – invite each other around to their farms and families to host a dinner each. Each woman grades the different food courses tasted that day. At the end of six shows, there is a “best cook” elected among the participants, I guess. The five ladies visiting are taken around to the hostesses house in an oldtimer bus, sharing their thoughts and expectations and commenting on the countryside, while the hostess is sweating away in the kitchen, preparing the dinner. Then the guests are welcomed into the hostess’ farm, shown around and later, the women eat together. So far the content of the show.
I have seen this format on TV before, I guess, but readily zapped through it. Unless the food being cooked caught my attention. The host on yesterday’s particular show made me have a closer look. Obviously she and her husband run a big farm with roughly eight or nine families living and working together. Each is busy with a particular work branch of interest: producing cheese, baking bread, growing crops, tending the farm animals, propagating seeds, cooking for the lot and so forth. All is done organically and the families working together are not related. But were invited to join the farm and be part of this kind of life and business. Of course the food served was all cooked with fresh produce from the farm and looked great. But this is all beside the point.
It was the women, that were so impressive. The five guests on the bus – who I am sure, have similar, if somewhat smaller, farms of their own and are great cooks and hostesses, too – as well as the hostess, were so refreshingly different from the females one sees normally on TV today. One could tell, they were on their Sunday best and done up a little, but still there was so much naturalness about them. It was beautiful to see. And good to listen to their comments. About the farm, the produce, the hard work acknowledged in the other. It was not done in a ballyhoo manner, it shone through the recorded chatter on the bus.
The Ladies themselves were of exquisit beauty, I thought. Not the kind of stereotype, one is served on media everyday. But of a completely different kind, that somehow touched my heart. On some of the faces one could see the traces of hard work in fresh air. On others, age was already showing. Some hardships, too. The kind, raising a family and running a farm might cause. But they all looked proud in a humble and easy way. Although seated throughout most of the show, I imagined them walking tall. Each of their faces could be portrayed on a priced painting, singling out their special qualities. And it would be worth every penny.
What a difference to the hollow hail to empty young faces, one is bombarded with all the time. All these wannabe actresses, singers, models and what not.
And what a difference to the wrung out and worn faces of the farm women of my childhood, that made myself try and get as far away as quickly as possible. To as big a city as possible. The women I saw yesterday, made me wonder, if the generation of girls my own age, who stayed rural, might have succeeded in growing into impressive Ladies like the ones I saw on TV. Might be worth going back and find out, next time I visit home.