July 19, 2013: Wheat harvest provides a connection with God, by Judy Reedy
It is the last day of June as I write this. Soon we will celebrate our independence from tyranny, the Fourth of July. In this area we also celebrate wheat harvest — and sometimes we celebrate the two events simultaneously.
There are a lot of things to celebrate about wheat harvest, besides the completion of a long, arduous task.
In recent years the fall harvest of corn, soybeans and milo has greatly surpassed wheat harvest in size and scale and economic impact, but for some reason wheat harvest resonates with some of us as our connection to the land.
For the people who till those fields, a good crop means not only that we can pay our expenses and farm for another year, but also that we have done our best to feed the hungry of the world.
Most of us in this community have never known hunger. I don’t mean the “Isn’t dinner ready yet?” kind of hunger, but the cruel painful hunger of an inadequate, insufficient diet, and now knowing if there will be any food at all.
In Kansas — such a land of abundance — we have only to look at the fields and pastures to know that we will not be hungry.
I’ve heard it said that farming is in the genes and I believe it.
There are many reasons to be a farmer. Getting rich quick isn’t one of them! Easy living isn’t either, but if soul-satisfying and challenging are in your criteria, you might be a farmer.
Farmers face challenges from the weather, the markets, insects and many other things over which none of us has any control. When a cow dies it can’t be fixed. When hail has beaten the crop into oblivion, it won’t just grow again.
But when everything has been overcome and the vital elements have cooperated and we behold a successful crop it is almost a spiritual experience. It has very little to do with money, but a great deal to do with our connection with God and his creation, Nature, and also our fellow man.
St. Thomas Aquinas said, “The earth will not yield its fruits without the labor of man, therefore it follows that labor is a good thing.” A good crop is our reward for labor and our contribution to the benefit of mankind.
Of all the blessings in my own life, one of the very best has been that I was first a farmer’s daughter and then a farmer’s wife.
— Judy Reedy has been a resident of Cloud County almost all her life. She and Leonard have been married for 55 years.