Meandering Thoughts

Meandering Thoughts

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Rhythm of Life

Have you seen the movie "August Rush"? It so beautifully explains that every sound is a rhythm. Everything has a beat, the beat of life is everywhere. Today I heard a beat that brings back a childhood memory.

I was taking a break, as I often do, not always because I especially tired, but more because I want to daydream a little. This little break found me swinging in the hammock on a summer day in August. I closed my eyes and listened, just listened to the songs of the afternoon. I could hear the hummingbirds in the flowers nearby, not only could I hear their wings fluttering, I could hear their chatter with each other. Not far away I heard my horses running to the barn, they are particularly bothered by those big black horseflies and run for cover. Then there was the gentle breeze that rustles the leaves above me, one of those big trees is holding my hammock off the ground.

Far off and very subtlety I heard the rhythm from my childhood. It was the sound of a piece of farm equipment........ a baler. At this time of year I know they are baling hay somewhere near our home. A baler picks up hay from rows on the ground, feeds it into a "stuffer" and compacts it into neat and tidy bales of hay that have string or wire holding them together. The stuffer has a rhythm, a beat that keeps time with the hay moving through the system. I have loved that sound all my life.

I grew up on a farm in Cedarville, Ohio. When summer came my brother and sister and I were often placed on a blanket with a few toys for entertainment. We were expected to stay on or around that blanket while my Mother drove the tractor and baler with a wagon attached, my Dad would then grab the hay (or straw) bales and stack them neatly on the wagon. I don't remember my age at the time but certainly old enough to know the rules! Stay on the blanket.

I remember sometimes laying on that blanket in the shade of the trees that bordered the field, watching the big fluffy clouds drift off in the blue sky. Remember "seeing" animals in those clouds? All the while the rhythm of the baler sang it's song, sometimes softly as it traveled away to the other end of the field. And then as it got closer the sound became greater again. A song with which your heart found the beat and kept time with the baler.

I miss the old way of doing things on the farm, that makes me sound old. The machines to farm with were smaller, fields had fence lines with trees and grasses for critters to hide and nest. I have seen farm fields opened up with big bulldozers removing trees and all other life from those fence lines, all for the sake of planting a few more acres. Removing life as if it means nothing to anyone or anything. Removing the living rhythm of another kind from it's place on Mother Earth. Because of "advancements" in farming we lost wooden fencepost's that woodpeckers made holes in and bluebirds and tree swallows later made nest in those holes. Folks complain they don't see pheasants and rabbits like they use to, those fencing's made perfect cover for critters as they ran away from farm machinery. It has change the rhythm of their life.

I think of all these things while I lay in my hammock today............. daydreaming and listening to the rhythm of a baler singing a song from my childhood.

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