A salute to farmers

Published 7:32 pm Saturday, June 20, 2015

By Billie Joy Langston

The holy scriptures teach us that to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

Summer has always been my favorite season, because there are so many health- and wellness-related activities to enjoy when it is warm and toasty outdoors. I wait anxiously every year for summer to arrive. And then it finally comes in all its glory.

Email newsletter signup

With the touch of God’s hand, the summer solstice arrives on June 21 to mark the official beginning of summer and the day that produces the most daylight of the year. Bright sunshine peering through clear, blue skies and white, low-hanging clouds are my wish at every summer solstice.

I breathe deeply and release a happy feeling for me and for many open fields of newly planted crops.

My dad was a lifelong farmer, and I think summer solstice was his good friend. It was during summer solstice season that he worked harder and longer days to achieve his desired result of growing a pretty field of crops. Like many farmers, it was Dad’s field of dreams.

Now I drive down roads and highways in this region and observe the meticulous way farmers cultivate the land and sow seeds to produce crops during the planting season. The growth and oversight of these major field crops, such as cotton, corn, peanuts, soybeans and wheat, require a great deal of effort, hard work and commitment by farmers to see it through until harvest season.

During this time of the year, I really enjoy being a corn plant watcher. This spring, I have observed corn being planted in early to mid-May. A local farmer shared that soil must be warm to plant corn, resulting in a preferred planting timeline of April-June. He also reminded me that corn crops are rotated annually to maintain a healthy, rich soil.

Within two weeks, I could see from my car window that the corn seeds had germinated. As the growth process began, little green (and cute) shoots came forth out of the ground all lined up in rows as a result of the farmer’s near-perfect planter precision. And with each passing day, the shoots reveal accelerated growth.

As the shoots grow, I watch their green, shiny leaves gradually become corn stalks reaching higher and higher toward the sky for their desired rain and sunshine sustainability.

For me, watching these little guys grow from baby shoots to tall, majestic towers of green is the evidence of sacred unity between God, farmers, and the earth.

My hunch about Dad being connected with summer solstice was correct; that was the day he left me for eternal life.

In celebration of Father’s Day, which falls on the observed day of summer solstice this year, let’s salute and support the diligent work of farmers nationwide. President John Kennedy said it best: “Our farmers deserve praise, not condemnation; and their efficiency should be cause for gratitude, not something for which they are penalized.”

Thanks to all the farmers, past and present, for your labor of love for your crops, fields and family. You are America’s finest.

Billie Joy Langston is a freelance writer of positive living and inspirational literature. She is a native of Suffolk. Email her at billielangstone@yahoo.com.