Be Your Own Farmer

I received a gift from my mom a few days ago. She sent it because of something my dad had done when he was still alive. He was an oil well pumper and a farmer, a man who knew how to draw things up from the soil. The gift made me think about planting seeds that will be reaped in due season.

It is autumn now, the season of harvesting. But I see no wheatfields from my back porch like I did when I was small, like I did the day my dad died after plowing the field next to our house. Now my house is in a large city, and the sights and smells of this prolific season are hard to come by. I’ve resorted to the metaphoric and symbolic. My eyes are scythe and sickle, cutting down memories and experiences, binding them into golden sheaves that I put in shocks. The shocks stand in the stubble of my mind, a testimony to the miracle of harvest.

For several days I’ve been trying to think of how I can describe my harvest to you. Crops that came up where I didn’t know they’d been planted. Rocky soil that miracuously produced. Harvests that required years of tending, and just when I was about to give up and plow them under, the faintest sprouts began to appear. I would tell you about them, but you wouldn’t recognize them. They’re not your crops. You have to be your own farmer.

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