It was Harvest 2014, and I was tired. Not just kind of tired. Really tired. Like the 'do not operate heavy machinery' kind of tired. But there I was....climbing back into the combine for what seemed like the bazillionth day of harvest. (Don't laugh, that's a real number...kind of!) The season had been riddled with breakdowns, rain delays, machinery issues, crop issues and muddy fields too wet to drive in, and it was wearing on everyone. Really I just wanted a nap. Instead, I climbed up the ladder and swung onto the platform at the top of the combine. I slid into the cab to crank the motor to let it warm up, then came back out to the platform to clean windows. And I saw it.
I blinked & rubbed my eyes. Hallucinating was not out of the question at this point. But there it was. Wheat! Growing right out of the combine. And it wasn't the only place either. In the most unlikely of places. Under the most unlikely circumstances. Little green shoots that looked like blades of grass. And the more I looked, the more there were. Any little nook or cranny that stored the smallest amount of dirt, was growing.
I sat down on the step and cried, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Exhaustion to be sure. But something much more. A realization. That right there. In the middle of harvest. In the middle of life happening all around me. Right smack in the middle of my pity party.... was a reminder.
Perseverance. Growth. New Life. Bloom where you're planted.
Those little wheat plants served their purpose that day. And they encouraged me to serve mine. Tired or not. I wiped my eyes -- okay, fine.. and my nose-- on my shirt and stepped back into the cab of the combine. Harvest 2014, day bazillion-and-one. Because here's how it breaks down.
Wheat feeds the world. And maybe you don't think much about what the world is eating. Honestly, I usually don't either. But think about this for a minute. The State of Kansas alone grows enough wheat in one year to bake enough loaves of bread to feed the 6 million mouths on the planet for two weeks. I have to think Montana isn't far behind that. And I sure as heck don't want to have to look a hungry child in the eye and tell him I just felt too tired to harvest the wheat for his bread. Gosh, sorry about that.
Let's bring it closer to home though. How about the products on your own dinner table at night? Or mine.
I'm not answering to my kids when there's no bread for grilled cheese sandwiches, no breakfast cereal in their bowls in the morning, and no buns for their hamburger on the 4th of July. Because I needed a nap?
Don't get me wrong. I know I'm not carrying that solely on my back. But those persistent little wheat plants gave me an opportunity to think about the big picture a little. To get outside of my own head and my limited perspective. And to bloom. Or at least, to open a can of my favorite caffeinated beverage & make another round!