This evening was a beautiful autumn evening. I came home from work and headed to the field to finish preparing a section for next year’s wheat crop. It was some time where I could be alone and think. I have always enjoyed spending time alone in nature in the fall. Perhaps it is because I was born in October that I find it to be such a peaceful month. To be sure, my work load begins to change a little in the fall, and after the summer markets end in October, I have more time to myself. During that time, I do more writing, and I spend a little time catching up on some personal tasks like reading more.
As I worked in the field tonight, I noticed the world around me. The Goldenrod has since bloomed and browned, dropping its seeds for the generation that will bloom next year. The deciduous trees are displaying autumn hues as they prepare to shed their leaves for winter to survive. The deer and turkeys are frantically eating all that they can to store fat for the cold months ahead. Even the bees are steadily working on storing the remaining honey for winter, while the farmers are beginning to harvest the brown fields of soy beans that will eventually feed our species. All of nature is aware that the arrival of winter is imminent. It is inescapable, and even as our planet warms, winter at this latitude is a serious affair for the many lives surviving on or near our farm.
Tonight, however, as I worked alone in the autumn evening, I realized something about hope and resilience. The winter ahead is indeed inevitable. Every thing that lives will eventually face it. Yet, in the autumn, with temperatures dropping steadily, we all prepare as if spring will come. For many of us, that is true, and the simple acts of the Goldenrod, bees, deer, turkeys, and farmers, including us, are acts of hope and faith. We maintain hope that even as the sun drifts slowly south, taking with it the warmth and comfort of summer, that it will eventually return. We have faith that when it does, we will again walk barefoot in the wake of summer rain showers and sleep in the moonlight with the sweet sounds of summer evenings as our lullabies. We, who toil in the soil of the earth, have hope and faith, even when we do not realize it at first.
This season has been challenging. To that, I have already described in detail in earlier posts. It has been difficult enough, as I have noted, to even challenge my conviction of purpose. Yet today, even as many of our fields are still wet, the crew planted garlic for next season, and I prepared a section of field, albeit three weeks late, to plant wheat for next season. Yet, as pragmatic as these tasks are, they are also highly symbolic. The very acts of committing them signifies that we intend to return in some form next year. Perhaps they are an act of rebellion against forces for which we have no control, a kind of shout into the wilderness stating that we are here and our spirit will not be broken. I like to think, however, that they are simple acts of hope and faith, hope that we will survive into another season and faith that the way to do so will be apparent and clear to us in its time. So, we will continue to prepare to face the winter, but we will act as if spring will eventually come, because it likely will.