Sunday, May 22, 2011

Haying Time

With the wet weather finally over, it's time for the alfalfa to be laid low with the mower.

Yesterday all around farm machinery whirred across uneven fields, the farmers bobbing up and down on their seats as they went round and around. All up and down the road, fields of emerald green that swayed in the wind turned into neat rows of cut grass.

Cut hay smells sweet and dusty, and its perfume in the air on this Sunday. The beautiful day is heavy with sunshine and thunderhead clouds over the mountain. A stillness in the air that has the grasshoppers searching for shade makes the Blue Ridge Mountains shimmer with haze.

The mowers yesterday buzzed like bees, but today they do not sound. It is a day of rest even for the farmers.

Some days, when the sun beats down relentlessly, I make lemonade. I fill the pitcher with ice and then carry it to the edge of the field. I stop and hold the pitcher high until I am seen. Then I watch the tractor as the driver abandons the raking or tetting or baling, and drives toward me with wild abandon.

My husband hops down from the tractor with a cocky grin on his face. He stands there and downs a full glass of lemonade as if in one gulp. He always leaves me with a sticky, dirty kiss on my face. His helpers, if there are any, offer thanks and return the glass to me.

On haying days my husband comes in the house, his whole body dripping sweat, and I make him disrobe in the garage so he doesn't track hay dust all over the house.

After the hay is up, the fields that glimmered green now glisten gold, but just for a short while. As soon as a rain falls, they green right up again.

And after a time, it'll all start over again.

1 comment:

  1. A beautiful description of haying. I love the smell of a freshly cut hay field.


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