For those of us born and raised in rural Saskatchewan there is no time of year that pulls at the heart strings more than autumn. It is not uncommon to see folks who have moved to the city or even another province return home to help with the harvest or just to be close to the action.
The excitement (and, yes, even the stress) of getting the crop into the bin (or the grain bag these days) can never be fully understood by outsiders, but it can be appreciated.
Although I have lived here my entire life, I never fail to marvel at the sight of the mature crops waving gently in the fall breeze. Although we reside in a landlocked province, we are surrounded by golden-flecked oceans of grain.
I do remember one of my university professors who dared to disdainfully proclaim that Saskatchewan had no character because it wasn’t located by the sea. Well, I wasn’t going to have anyone, professor or not, talk trash about my province, so I piped up. (I have been known to voice my opinion now and then.)
I told him to open his eyes because he was missing out on some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Our fields of grain I opined were just as inspiring as any body of water. I’m not sure if he fully understood and I’m not certain if taking on the person who decides your final grade was wise, but when several others in the class clapped for my statement, he did realize that you don’t mess with prairie folks and their tie to the land. (It’s much like our relationship with our siblings. We can make fun of them, but woe to anyone else who does so.)
For me, it’s always a thrill to see those first swaths of grain go down, lying in perfect formation like so many thick braids running down a girl’s back. But nothing tops watching those combines roll into a field to gobble up another year’s crop.
I am reminded of my own father working hard late into the night to get harvest done. Although the machinery and the technology has changed, one thing remains constant. Farmers and all who have a tie to the land find their hearts beat a little faster, a little stronger as harvest time in Saskatchewan gets underway.