Glory and I took a trip to Cairo to pick up her new car this weekend. As we drove the winding, country back roads, Glory and I began to reminisce about the things that we missed about south Georgia. We miss the treats that come from living in a rural community like watching tractors plow smooth, even rows, the seasons of growth and barbed wire fences.
Cotton, corn, soybeans and peanuts are absolute staples in the areas where we have lived.
As we made our way
round the curves and twists of the fairly empty roads,
we found ourselves behind peanut trucks more than once.
Sometime between late August and early October each year,
harvest time arrives
and farmers make their way to the fields to turn up the peanuts.
There the nuts lay
above the ground
to dry for a day or two.
It’s quite a trick these farmers must perform
finding the day that is dry enough
having had no rain that would leave the ground damp and moist
with no rain in the forecast for the days ahead
lest those sweet tender vegetables rot
below the ground or above.
After the nuts have dried a bit,
the hay is baled to be fed to cattle in the cooler months
when green grass isn’t plentiful.
The bales dot the barren earth
tractor tire paths still evident.
Bales are beautiful to me.
Whether peanut, soft winter wheat or summer grass,
those huge, round parcels
scattered across a field
Those bales are a sign of completion.
They are an announcement that a season has come to an end.
They symbolize preparation for the winter ahead.
Each bale has peanuts woven throughout.
I wonder if the grass will taste of peanuts
to the animal that will dine upon it later.
Do the cattle consider each golden nut a tasty treat
prized when found?
I love this particular harvest. While other reapings are a visual treat,
the harvesting of peanuts ushers in fall with an earthen smell of soil
that does not accompany any other crop.
You can drive down these roads in the darkness of night
when crops are hidden from the light
yet still know that fall has come.
The peanuts fill the air with their fragrant, earthy announcement
of harvest, yield and bounty.
While we love to eat peanuts boiled
or in a creamy butter form with jelly
peanuts are much more to my family
than a simple vegetable that grows underground.
They are a catalyst to bring back recollections
of rural memories
that we hold fondly dear.
Peanuts made me smile this past weekend.
Peanuts make me happy.
What makes you happy this marvelous Monday morning?