I see you. I know you stand at the kitchen sink as the moon rises and strain your neck to catch a glimpse of the lights in the distance. The heavy silence has settled over your house as the children are in bed, but if you crack a window you might just hear the whirr of the combine and tractors that race to bring in the year’s bounty.
As you resume cleaning up the supper dishes and regrouping for the next day, you pause to wipe a stray tear that threatens to escape from your weary eyes. They burn with the exhaustion of “going it alone” these days of fall. They weep over the plunging corn prices and worry that is etched on your husbands face. You smile through the tears when you think of your littles who want to be “just like dad” when they hop off the school bus and race through homework so that they can go on a ride along. And, the lines of wisdom that form around your eyes tell the story of year after year that feels like it should get easier when the seasons arrive, but in the dark times, it doesn’t feel anything but hard.
You forget how quiet it is when you sit inside all alone. The missing piece that leaves a seat open at the supper table, and an unread newspaper and magazine waiting next to his recliner. The resulting whine and cry of the little ones who struggle to understand why daddy has to be absent from meals and school activities and bedtime stories. You grieve the “honeymoon” days that came before kids, when you rode on the tractor seat arm and shared sandwiches on the tailgate and laughed under the stars. While every bit of you knows and understands the sacrifices that must be made each season, those sneaky thoughts come into your house through Facebook and conversations and memories of a different “path” that you could have chosen, and that others chose. One that seems less complicated and more fruitful. One that might feel more secure, and less hectic.
When the dishes are done, and you have a few moments to yourself, you might sink into the nearest soft place with a glass of wine and a chance to text your love to see how things are going, or when he might be home. He might respond, and he might not. For some nights, the return of the pickup to the yard means an end to the days’ work. And sometimes it means a breakdown or some other trouble. When you turn over in bed to greet him as he finally lays down to rest from his weary day, you pray for a few moments of conversation before exhaustion overtakes him and he slumbers away.
And when the sun rises, and he sips his coffee before putting on his boots and favorite seed corn cap, you hope he will take a moment to hold you. To tell the children to mind their mama, to promise to be safe, and remind you all that this season will end soon.
And as he drives away, you wipe the tears again. The ones that give thanks for your wonderful life and the man who works to provide for you and all the world. The one who chose you to be strong and lonely at times. The only one who could fill that role.
I see you dear mamas, and so does he. So stay the course, and take heart.
“To everything there is a season, a time and a purpose under the heavens.”
The end is in site.
With respect and admiration,
Your fellow farm mama
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