As are many of our neighbors, John is working well into the night. From the porch I hear the hum of engines in nearby fields as combines travel across fields of wheat, clipping the heads, sorting grains from the plants and depositing the kernels in the bin. The sounds of harvest are similar to what I’ve experienced year-after-year; yet, there’s something emotionally and physically different about the crop of 2014.
Do you recall the nursery rhyme – Mary, Mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
The words of that poem have run through my mind numerous times this harvest. With barely enough moisture to place seeds in the soil and just enough hope that rains would come during the growing season John, and other tried-and-true farmers, planted wheat into the fields last fall. Very little moisture came in the form of rain or snow; the plants fought to stay alive. With the coming of spring our hopes were renewed; historically speaking spring rains water the growing crop, green the grass pastures, and fill ponds. Spring 2014 was not a historical year.
More days have been windy than not windy; day-after-day of strong winds takes its toll of one’s emotions and at times it’s difficult to physically stand against the force. I was told by a wise, experienced gentleman that winds occur more often and with greater vigor during a drought. I’ll always remember the truth he shared as well as the many days of strong gusts experienced this year.
It’s a miracle the wheat plant survived the growing season; it’s another miracle there are one or more kernels of grain in the wheat head. The crop of 2014 witnessed one of the more severe droughts to ever strike parts of Oklahoma, withstood some of the harshest winds ever known to sweep down the Plains, weathered a winter of frigid temperatures that even threatened the existence of livestock, especially new born calves. It’s an emotional drain to watch plants struggle to survive; it’s a physical drain to tend fields of hard, rock hard dirt!
Mary, Mary’s garden grew… of silver bells and cockle shells
and pretty maids all in a row.
The hum of the combines as they make rounds across the fields brings about an emotional burst of joy; the task of harvesting becomes physically refreshing, especially when I thought harvest would only happen in my dreams or would only be a figment of my imagination. I’m sure a biologist, a chemist, and an agronomist can explain how there is the slightest of successes in the Crop of 2014. Those explanations, firmly based on research and experience, are significant yet maybe not-so-much in comparison to the horrendous conditions the plants have endured. Can Mary, Mary or any applied science be credited for the unseen miracles that have occurred from the time of sowing to the time of harvest? How Does Your Garden Grow – the wheat crop of 2014 – is explained in 1 Chronicles 29:11: “Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.”