Thursday, October 6, 2011

American Harvest

From Atlanta to the Alabama Shoals with a detour to Talladega over the last two days, it has become obvious that Fall is here. Even though most of the leaves are still holding on the their summer green, the air has become dry, cool, and refreshing. The division series are winding down and the championship series will be taking shape in the next day or two, and while we watch the Tigers and Yankees play game 5 the American farmer is still in the field bringing in the cotton.
It is incredible to watch the American Farmer put hundreds of thousands of dollars in the the ground every spring, and then go to church on Sunday and pray for rain.  All summer long the farm tends his crops with the tenderness of a mother's touch, but rain, too much heat at the wrong time, or a hundred other things are out of his hands. Any one of these can eliminate his wages for an entire year, but every spring he shows the same hope. It is the definition of optimism, and it is not seen in any other way of life.
Now though, it is fall and all over the territory the combines are in the field. The cotton acres that you could mistake for snow covered ground are giving way to the green pickers and wagons. If you have never stopped and watched the harvesters at work you have neglected your self of an awesome experience.
As I was working  my west yesterday, out side of the small Alabama town of Hillsborough. I was in the middle of the southern harvest, and was struck by one particular scene. The over sized John Deere was  pulling his disk from the west working his way slowly to the east. I expect he was preparing the ground for a fall cover crop. The ground behind the tractor was the reddish brown hue that is typical of Alabama Clay and a wispy dust was rising behind him. On the eastern edge of the field there were three silver silos that were built to hold untold thousands of bushels of grain, and behind them the sky was a polarized blue that you only see when the air is dry and cool. Above the tractor's cab an American Flag was flying straight and true, the colors were highlighted by the late afternoon sun. I will probably never get to meet this farmer, but it seems to me that his chances of being a good man and a great American are pretty high. I like to think of him as a family man with a wife a young daughter. This kind of man would be sure to raise his little girl in the southern tradition that the majority of kids are deprived of. But as long as people need to eat and wear cotton socks I believe that in small towns all over the south there will always be red dirt girls that love their daddies that farms.

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