Thursday, October 23, 2008

Winter Wheat

Out here on the high prairies, we get a tiny peek at spring toward the end of autumn. When all other green is fading to brown and the leaves are falling off the trees, the winter wheat, sewn in early autumn, sprouts up and greens the farmer's fields around us. Then, when the cold comes, it goes dormant and the vast green fields disappear, hiding under the winter snow, and spring back to life when the weather warms up. Just about the time we don't think we can stand another day of winter and the brown, brown, brown is getting us down, the winter wheat, which was there all the time, sprouts again.

I got to spend a good many hours with three of my teenage sons driving back to Omaha the other day. We talked of many things, movies and books and friends and girls and ceiling wax and other fancy stuff... And, in the course of our conversations, I got a glimpse of winter wheat resprouting.

We talked about how they grew up. Getting up at 6 am every day to milk the goats and feed the pigs and chickens... They consider themselves better men for the responsibility learned and the muscles developed. Learning to serve at the altar at the same time they learned to read... They appreciate that honor and its graces' eternal benefits. Those books we read after the rosary every night, The Narnia Chronicles, Robinson Crusoe, All Creatures Great and Small... They remember with special fondness. The documentaries we watched instead of meaningless television, National Geographic, Tales of the West, The Civil War by Ken Burns.... They're glad for the knowlege painlessly imparted. Growing up with Laurel and Hardy and John Wayne instead of Beavis and Butthead... They're eternally grateful.

"You know, Mom," one of them told me, "I'm so glad you raised us to be cultured."

"Um, thanks, son" (snicker)

I don't know if "cultured" is the exact word for it, but I'm glad you're glad you've got it.

Winter wheat and spring is dawning.


Laura said...

..and cabbages and kings.

I am curious about your land.
How much is just sprawling countryside and how much is cultivated for "whathaveyous?"
It seems very beautiful.

Lisa said...

Laura ~ Our forty acres is unirrigated and we've used it for grazing our goats and boarding horses and occasionally raising up a beef cow. But, it's not good for much, as 40 acres doesn't go far, grass wise out here, where it's pretty dry land.

We're on the outskirts of a tiny town, where it breaks up into several 40 acre lots. Most of them aren't cultivated, but are used for horses or small animal operations. Just beyond the farmettes, though, a bike ride down the road, there are acres and acres of winter wheat. Some of the farmers will try a field or two of corn, but that's risky as there's little irrigation out here at all for it. And here and there, you'll see huge fields of sunflowers. I wish I'd gotten a picture of that this summer to show. The acres and acres of yellow is gorgeous.

But, I would say, that most of the land out here is probably uncultivated. As opposed to the acres and acres of wheat, there are miles and miles of empty rolling prairie land, with occasional cottonwood lined creek beds. With the mountains in the distance.

I'll have to get out and take some pictures of the land around us. I tend to concentrate on the mountains (can't help love them best!), but the prairies really are beautiful, too.