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Hay Season Begins, and Jason reflects (and so do I…)

May 19, 2012

Hay field after the hay has been cut, tetted, and raked. It’s ready to be baled.

Jason was rinsing his dish the other night after dinner (at nearly 9:30…) and he turned to me and said something beautiful:

 

You know, it’s going to get really busy on the farm soon, with late evenings of making hay and early, early mornings again (he knows I’m not stellar in the early morn hours, so sometimes, just sometimes he slips out of bed without waking me…apparently, when his alarm when off at 5:50 this morning, I rolled over and dozily delivered the news: I’m going to stay in bed another hour, and then I’ll come find you in the field…to which, he tells me, he laughed, because he hadn’t actually planned on my coming into the field that morning; in my defense, I was up much later than him…)

 

No, that was not the beautiful thing. Forgive my veering off the storied path…he continued:

 

But you know what? I’m looking forward to it. I’m actually really excited. It feels so good to be out there on a tractor making hay. I just love it.

 

Why do you love it? I press him further to articulate what I can feel oozing out of his pores and his mind and his heart.

 

Well, because. Because I loved emptying out that barn full of hay to the cows all winter, only now to fill it back up again. Riding on the tractor making hay reminds me that when winter comes, I’ll have it to feed again. It’s kind of full circle. Farming is to be a part of the circle.

 

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Of course it’s full circle! Sure, we all know this. The farmer plants the corn and barley in the fall or the spring to harvest in the summer or fall to feed their cows in the deep of the winter. The farmer lets the grass grow tall in the spring in order to cut it down in the summer and store it away in the fall to eat in the winter, to do it all over again. Cycle after cycle after cycle. But there is a difference between knowing this beautiful fact, and experiencing it coursing through your veins. I saw it coursing through Jason’s veins that night, slow, simmering, fulfilling, brimming over into his eyes and his steadied words.

 

We all come in and out of these cycles of life. But they are ours to experience, to live into. And even if they are an axiom said a thousand, a hundred thousand times, they are still fresh when we experience them again. Life comes in cycles. Hay cycles. Birth cycles. Death cycles. Relationship cycles. Identity cycles. Rain cycles. We bob up and down on the sea of our seasons, forgetting that the next wave crests again, and as we are lifted up to see ourselves afresh, we are again stupefied by the beauty of it all.

 

Hay season begins. What my spirit grumbled a bit about last year, with the endless hours that Jason never came home, the aching bones he had, the little time I saw him when I got home from work, this year my spirit embraces. Maybe I am living into the cycle of the farm, bit by bit. Maybe, things are coming full circle, and having to feed the hay in the winter with my own hands makes me long for it to be baled and stacked and stored away, so that we might continue the circle.  And maybe, just maybe, it will help me to be behind the wheel of the tractor some myself…

 

The field on the hill has been raked and spent a day drying in the sun, changing it’s color. It is now ready to be baled. Wile is a faithful tractor companion, for hours on end.

Grass that goes to seed right before it becomes hay. It has a light purplish hue to it.

 

Jason coming around the turn mowing a field (while Wile and I take a rest from riding and peek around the nearby woods…)

 

Jason stopping to refill his tractor with fuel after hours of early morning mowing

Wile looking out over the work of his (master’s) hands…(or machine. or planning. or perseverance. or early rising. or….you get the point!)

 

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Amy M. permalink
    May 19, 2012 7:28 pm

    Harrigan,
    This brought tears to my eyes and heart. You are so right in learning to live this life of cycles. It is not easy yet it is so beautiful when you know it makes Jason so happy deep down in his soul. We could all learn from it… Love you guys. -a

  2. Aaron permalink
    May 21, 2012 12:44 pm

    I used to dread unloading hay. Getting up EARLY to (partially) miss the sweltering summer heat, so you could go hang out in a musty old barn, where you would spend hours manhandling thousands upon thousands bales in cramped spaces, while the LOUD clanging elevator constantly dumped hay dust in your sweaty face. Fighting with heavy, cumbersome, scratchy, itchy bales, trying to get them placed just-so on elevator so they would come tumbling and crashing down.

    BUT, when you were done, you somehow felt good. It was good workout, so maybe it was just a runners-high type euphoria, or maybe it was just the fact that it was complete, and you were free (until the next morning), but you felt accomplished. I kind of miss it.

    Also, on a side-note: you use all these color descriptions, yet you used black and white photos. Interesting artistic choice…. (on purpose I wonder?)….ARGG!

  3. May 23, 2012 8:16 pm

    We love reading your farm stories. Am I also entering the cycle ?

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