I’m not an authentic country girl. I grew up in a big city of concrete, asphalt and brick. But – I think I should have been born a country girl. That’s where my heart lies.
The farmers around my summer home are working in the worst kind of summer heat cutting and baling hay. The hotter the sun, the better for putting up hay. One evening, just before predicted 3 rain free days, I saw his tractor going back and forth across the field cutting hay after dark by the headlights of the tractor. Twice the next day, he came with a rake and turned over the fresh cut hay to make it dry and cure. Third day, he was out again doing the same thing. By evening, he had his baler going. It rolls along behind the tractor appearing to do nothing. Then, suddenly, it opens it’s big mouth and spits out a big round bale of hay that goes bouncing across the field to a stop. Later, they'll line up these big balls along a fence line out of the way of the second cutting in fall.
Squadrons of Barn Swallows escort me as I mow the field in the early evening with my own little tractor and mower. I like that analogy. It makes me think of scenes from old black & white war movies. All I can see are their flittering silhouettes against the fading summer sky. They appear from nowhere after my first pass of the field. Their aerobatics are quite remarkable. They dive and swoop after dislodged bugs in steep patterns too extreme for even the most accomplished air show pilot.
This field takes almost an hour for me to mow. By the time I’ve made a dozen passes, I see some swallows sitting on the elec. line, preening and resting. I suppose they’ve had their fill. Others are still following me across the field. The supply of bugs and the supply of swallows apparently is neatly matched.
Back and forth, across and down I mow over and over and over again. Somehow, it seems almost meditative. Not boring at all.- like following a knitting pattern. Knit 2, Purl 2 around and around.
Normally I don’t consider myself a patient person. Waiting for an upcoming trip, waiting in a grocery store line, or for a very long stoplight makes me fume. But, the kind of patience needed for mowing a field or knitting a sock is strangely comforting. Why is that? How is it different?