Harvest has started. Have you noticed that? Followed any slow moving vehicles lately? Brushed any red dog off your car? If you're a city person, have you felt that nip in the air? That dry afternoon heat? That's good stuff, people.
Fall is here.
Harvest is here.
Yet, it's a whole new season, literally and figuratively, for us. Jack spent a wonderful afternoon in the combine after preschool with my dad and uncle. However, when he reported on his ride to Joe last night, he ended the commentary with, "but you weren't there."
This space where we are is still unfamiliar and strange.
What makes it the hardest is our location. We live in the heart of the farm, my family's farm. The combine comes to rest at night in our driveway. The big bin is filled, and fills my windowsills with red dog. There is not a time I should feel lonely out here during harvest. Yet, it's weird, because this year, I do.
We live out here, and yet we're watching from outside the lines.
That strange pang from spring of last year has come back to my stomach. The reminder that while our heart is in agriculture,--Joe teaches it, for heaven's sake--- we are now just country livers.
If I were to have told this to myself four years ago during my yearly harvest heart attack, I would have laughed, scoffing at the waxing poetic thoughts. Suck it up, Emily, you can have a date night during October now.
Regardless, we are still a farm family, just in a different role. While different is not necessarily always good or always bad, different is just different.
Here's the good: we will be back. I have this strange feeling, behind the weirdness, there's a sense of calm. I look back at the time we were in a magazine, singing the praises of being a farm family, and know that while our role is different, farming and farm life is something you can't run away from. My kids identify themselves as country kids. Jack has had a light bulb moment of all the coolness that is large farm equipment. Anna and Josie now are both working with show calves. I have a feeling that while our income may not come from the semi loads that are rolling in, there will be another chance to define ourselves as true farmers.
For now, we'll watch. We'll ride. We'll enjoy a date night in October, and we'll wait.