DRIVING A GRAVEL ROAD on an October afternoon draws you into the intimacy of the country. Cornfield close. See the harvest close.
Here, where the dust flies and combines roar and grain trucks idle, you understand a farmer’s work. He is of the land. Hands on the steering wheel. Eyes on rows. Working long days, often into the darkness of a country night, to bring in the crop.
Weariness weighs. Weather forecasts bring relief or worry as the farmer races against time and the elements. Sunshine and grey skies. Too wet or too dry. Yields up, prices down.
It is the life of the farmer, of my heritage.
Although I left the farm more than four decades ago, I remain rooted to the land in memory. Every autumn I need to follow gravel roads, to connect with that which shaped me. I need cornfield close, harvest close.
BONUS PHOTOS (A drive in the country is about more than the harvest. It’s also about noticing the land, the animals, the sky, the everything rural):
FYI: These rural scenes were photographed Sunday afternoon in western Rice County, Minnesota.
© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling