Harvest Time

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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When humans lived closer to the land, we were deeply affected by the seasons and the weather and the harvest. There was an excitement and a fear in the air. Would the crops come in on time, or would Jack Frost catch them in the fields? J. Schaap remembers this time in an interesting piece called, "Harvest."

Years ago, my parents-in-law, good Iowa farmers, annually got nervous this time of year. Harvest--an event that always sounded like a joyous celebration to a town kid--used to make them both more than a little shaky. My father-in-law recognized harvest as a poker hand with a table full of chips. Could he get the crops in on time? Would he have to spend half his check getting the grain dry? Would his machinery hold out? A thousand similar questions arose daily before the ticking clock behind the rumble of the John Deere.

My mother's worries were a bit different. Harvest meant heartache. She told me how fearful she'd get because she just knew that somewhere in the neighborhood some guy was going to die in a horrible farm accident. Happened every year--another kind of reaping. We've had three deaths this year in the neighborhood, and we're still nowhere near halfway through. I don't keep track of these things very closely, but the old folks' home where my in-laws live today is as sure a place as any to hear the news around town, especially when the news is tragic and involves old people. Three old men have died in farm accidents in the last few weeks, one of them from a heart attack, the two others in a bloody fashion that's far better left unexplained. Tragic deaths. Horrible deaths. ... Read More