The Fighters

On the dairy farm, I had lots of chances to get outdoors. Watching the sky could be a relaxing pastime. It’s a reason to appreciate creation. After a high pressure system arrives in the summer, the clouds can have beautiful “fluffy” cumulus clouds and the low humidity would be pleasant.

I miss the sky when I visit Chicago. If I don’t leave the downtown, the skyscrapers won’t let me see much of the sky.

When things need to be done outside in the fields, it can be really pleasant. One thing that needs to be done is process the fields. Our main crop, hay, was always a source of work. We preferred alfalfa, which is a legume. It uses bacteria to take nitrogen from the air and “fix ” it so that the fields need less fertilizer. Alfalfa is nutritious for the cattle.

When it was ready, we mowed the hay. The mower is a machine that uses the tractor’s PTO. It’s some gearing and a “cutting bar” that stretched out to the side It had guides that help keep the hay from moving sideways. Behind them were some triangular teeth with really sharp edges. The tractor made the cutting bar oscillate left to right rapidly so that it could cut the hay close to ground level against the guides.

That’s where watching the sky becomes important.

Hay needs to dry before it can be baled up and stored. Rain interrupts the drying and if we’re unlucky, it could even make the hay get moldy. That’s less palatable for the cattle. However, if you store it when it is too wet, it risks spontaneously combusting and causing a fire.

A couple of times, when I was outside, I saw a military fighter plane go by heading north. It was going low to the ground and very fast. I never learned its origin nor destination. Fort Wayne had some military activities at Baer Field so that might explain it.

Sometimes, on the highway I-69, there would be a caravan of military vehicles go by. The trucks were all painted in camouflage. They were going out on training exercises, as best as I knew.

At the time, my attitude toward the military was pretty negative. I didn’t know anyone in the family that was in the service; maybe it was a throwback to the negative attitude toward Vietnam vets from earlier and I never knew any better..

Now, on Veterans Day, I can have breakfast with a friend who served in Iraq. At the time, when we were mostly at peace, the military seemed less relevant, but now I can appreciate the sacrifices they make.

A Colorful Sky

I look out my window and see the rain falling. The street is wet and the winds are calm. Recent days have been gloomy, but today is a good day to spend with a friend.

The shadows that come each night are not so frightening that they keep me alone. I see the moon rise and a beautiful constellation expands above me. I have nothing to fear and it is good to be here today.
A man fishing in the ocean waves
The ocean won’t wash me away today. I walk through the town and find new places to go. I’m glad that I am here today. I am glad that the sorrowful days have passed and I have much to look forward to.

Light comes down in a fabric of glistening pearls. Singing birds glow in its beauty and dance on the branches. A squirrel runs by and it is time for the roses to grow.

Although the sky is gray today, I know that I will see it’s colors soon. A blazing sun is fleeing the day and my time alone is near an end.

The land that surrounds me protects me and helps me rest. I will work in the morning and follow my path into tomorrow.

Original image: Each of them is fishing. By Corn Farmer [Image license]

Climbing the Stairs

In the morning, I saw the sun rise over the neighbor’s house. It was a beautiful golden sun. I welcomed its warm glance into my window.

As I left the house for another day of my journey, the sky laughed into my ears. I heard a cricket symphony and I watched the breeze. Every time I turned, I saw another glorious vista. Each word I thought could not be set free. I was running across the sky and it was time to land in the waves.

A small light filled my room. I remembered that the darkness is gone forever. A word in the book was enough to open my eyes. I was in love and I could never forget where I have been. The walls breathed my voice and the dust fled into my shadow.

I am in today. I am in this hour. I am in this now.