“The waving wheat, it sure smells sweet, when the wind comes right behind the rain…”
We spent Saturday in the cab of a farm semi truck hauling grain to the local elevator. This activity meant hours of waiting, hours of quiet, hours of observation. As a foreigner in this world of harvest, it has been so interesting to watch the family dynamic, to sit in the backseat and observe a new generation learning how to drive a tractor that pulls the grain cart, to hear the banter between brothers or among father and son.
I must confess, being the wordy person that I am, that I have a hard time with this family tradition when mixed with family dynamic. It’s a well-oiled machine for the family, everyone knowing their place and their responsibility, so quick to do what needs to be done, compensating for each other’s weaknesses or shortcomings, enjoying the heat and sweat and the dirt and chaff blowing in the wind, speaking the language of moisture content and test weight.
If I were in charge of the world, I would throw a little fit when a machine broke down or someone wasn’t pulling their weight or dinner was late in coming to the field or the elevator’s technology broke down resulting in major delays for everyone waiting in line or a part couldn’t be located or the repair shop closed minutes before the desperate call was made or darkness and evening dew took over with only a row or two left.
It’s a good thing I am not in charge of the world.
And it is a beautiful thing that God is.
Walking from the semi to the pickup last night at 9:45 to end the day, it was most wonderful. I witnessed a brilliant evening sky with just a hint of pink left on the horizon and the moon and stars lighting the way. Lightning bugs twinkled all around me in the cool stillness. The smell of sweet cut wheat straw that crunched underfoot delighted my senses.
And the quiet.
The quiet was like a symphony of night bugs mixed with the steady low hum of combine finishing the last row in the distance before shutting down for the day. I thought for half a second that I needed to take a picture to share, but opening the iPad would have spoiled the beauty and desecrated the God-given moment and gift.
I am most grateful for the backseat observatory, for a glimpse into this wonderful world of a farm family, all pulling together for two weeks in the summer and fall, because there is work to be done, because the harvest is plenty and the laborers are few, because this is tradition, this is what family does.