Bringing in the Sheaves, hay?


Psalm 126:4-6 (MSG)

 4-6 And now, God, do it again—
bring rains to our drought-stricken lives
So those who planted their crops in despair
will shout hurrahs at the harvest,
So those who went off with heavy hearts
will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.
Summer at home brings time to cut, bale and collect the hay.  It was a dry summer, the fields were thirsty, the grasses, clovers and alfalfa were sparse.  Once the fields were done GH concluded he would have to buy 30 plus bales as they only managed half of last year’s harvest.  It’ll be tough winter for him.  He owns the quarter section east of that owned by my parents.  On it he runs a specialty farm, raising elk, bison, and some small deer of some type.  I am unsure of the status of the latter, I heard the wolves enjoyed some last winter.
The well at the bottom of the hill west of the house evokes childhood memories.  It was the western boundary of our hair tangled wild run of endless summer days.  Beyond it was the creek, dangerous, reed choked, muck sucking, dank and smelling of sharp decay.  “Don’t you kids DARE go past that well.  If you end up in the creek you will drown and we will never find you!”  The words were tinged with terror and panic born of a previous experience.
I was four, or so.  Mom and Dad thought I was outside, playing with my sister, 18 months younger.  Dad noticed she was alone, playing in the sand.  “Where’s B?” he asked.  In her clipped, lisp she answered, “I don’ know.  I don’ know,” small shoulders lifting and falling in a toddler’s shrug.
My parents started searching, everywhere, Mom in the house, Dad outside.  My father, exhausting the out buildings and my favourite haunts, hurried down to the creek and walked the length, pushing aside the thick rushes, peering into the few drying pools of water.  No child.  My mother looked in all the nooks and crannies of the 1930’s house – under the beds, in the closets, the basement, bathrooms…  No child.  Panic mode, grandparents living on the quarter section to the south were called.  A couple days earlier, mom had taken us to visit dad at the wood lot, bringing him lunch.  Did I go there?  Dad and grandpa drove up there to check.  No child.  Mom did a second, thoroughly deliberate check of the house.  In our room was a crib that my father had made.  The head board and foot boards were solid, extending all the way to the floor.  Mom found me there, fast asleep curled up in the furthest corner so that when she glanced under it the first time, she didn’t look far enough around the foot board to see me.  All I remember of the incident was the disappointment I felt when I discovered I had missed The Friendly Giant!

Moving the bales together while the truck is delivering the first load.  The hay is in for the year.  The fields look so pastoral when they are all cut and cleaned up.

Loading the truck

My sister delivering the first load.