As I walk by the overflow grain storage area where drying fans blow the scent of fresh, slightly-moist corn, my mind returns to many rides atop a small wagon of corn. I felt like a princess, riding atop a huge chariot. I’d stick my hand deep into the corn and pull it upward – palm up – watching the corn stream around my fingers.
As I see a pickup truck drive along the edge of a field as a tractor or combine restarts its work, I remember delivering many meals to my dad in the field. It was often the only time I’d see my dad in daylight on those long harvest days. I loved being in the kitchen next to my mom when she was packing his supper. I remember the sound of the wax paper twisting as my mom tightened the lid onto a quart jar of tea (the wax paper kept it from leaking). My mom put the best meal possible together for my dad – something that he could eat quickly but would satisfy the hunger he’d been building all day.
I remember waiting at the end of the field row for my dad to take a break. I remember how dirty he was. He rarely said much as he ate, but he’d give us a few words to update us on his progress.
A lot of things have changed about harvest. The farm equipment is bigger. We’ve learned what’s safe and where kids shouldn’t play (like on a wagon full of corn!). Farmers are working land farther from their homes and packing their meals for the day. Cell phones keep everyone updated more regularly.
I could feel sad for the kids growing up on farms today, because they don’t have the same experiences I had. It’s tempting to think if someone doesn’t have the same memories I have, they’ve been slighted somehow. But that’s not true. The details of my memories really aren’t all that important except to me. The fact that they’re my memories is what makes them special.
What about your memories? What’s special to you? From your childhood, teen years, young adulthood, or the past year? What are your favorite scents, and are they associated with a special memory? What about sounds? Where and when do you get a “feel-at-home” experience? What comforts you?
I’m sure you – like me – have some not-so-great memories, too. We all do. They’re usually planted among the good memories. They’re like weeds among the wheat.
Let the weeds and the wheat grow together until the harvest time. At harvest time I will tell the workers, “First gather the weeds and tie them together to be burned. Then gather the wheat and bring it to my barn.” Matthew 13:30
It’s harvest time. Harvest your memories. You can’t and shouldn’t live in the past, but it’s okay to appreciate it! Your past is what affected who and where you are now. With harvest comes nourishment and growth. What we harvest sustains us. We can’t live off a one-time harvest. We continue to plant seeds and grow them to harvest. We can’t leave the seeds in the ground forever.
What are you doing today that will sustain you during the upcoming seasons of your life? What are you sowing?
Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you. Hosea 10:12
The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Galatians 6:8