Here in Ireland we have had a wet, windy, cold July. Fires were lit and the heating turned up in our homes. Festivals were damped by the bad weather. People were beginning to suffer S.A.D. syndrome. This is a condition which describes someone who is depressed because he hasn’t received enough sunshine.
I encouraged myself and others “Don’t worry there will be good weather soon because the farmers have to harvest their crops.”
The Lord promises seed time and harvest.
“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” (Genesis 8:22 NIV)
The warm, still, bright, sunny weather has arrived! While out driving yesterday we saw a field of corn that was harvested. The grain was taken away in a big truck and the golden straw was freshly baled.
At eight o’clock last evening a local farmer was preparing grass to be made into silage. He was drawing a machine that was about eighteen foot wide. It gathered the cut grass into a line. Another machine is used to collect the grass into circular bales. Last night after twelve we heard the sound of tractors trundling along the road nearby. They worked through the night in case the weather changed.
I mused. We do have “climate change.”
I remember my father harvesting a field of corn. His family were out helping him, girls and boys. My brother and he would cut the corn while we came behind gathering the cut stalks into bundles and tying them with a few stalks pulled from the bunch. A stook would be formed by standing four sheaves of corn on their ends and tied together at the top. This helped the sheaves to dry. We worked together as a family. Those were happy days for my father with his family around him. Mummy would bring tea and homemade bread drenched with butter to the field for the workers. It tasted good eating a bit of bread and a drink of tea in the sunshine together. A hare would scuttle in the distance and the corncrake sang in the meadow. Sweet communion, mankind with each other and with nature.
The warm days lasted as we harvested the crops. I do believe we don’t have as many warm days nowadays. One reason for climate change I suppose no one has thought of. The modern farm machinery do the work of many men and finish the work in a shorter time. They don’t need as many good days. The hares and corncrakes have left the meadows because the farm machines destroy their nests. One farmer owns many acres and meadows. Gone are the days when a small farmer could make a living to feed his family. The youth have gone from the land too. The joy of harvest is missing in our land. There is not the community atmosphere of helping one another to gather in the harvest. The talk, sharing of stories and the banter is missing. In Ireland, people danced at the crossroads when the harvest was over. Marriages were made and family ties strengthened to help one another through another year. The days of sunshine have left too!
One thought on “What Happened to the Long Sunny Days?”
Evocative words Angela. I too remember (the tail end of) those hand-harvesting days & SO glad I experienced gathering up of the stalks & putting into bundles. I’m glad the farmer would trust the young visiting children that we were to do this work in his field. Yes, banter was lighthearted in those days. People were close & God’s blessing was too. Maybe you are right in your theory about the diminishing sunny days in Ireland. ????? Doesn’t the place become a different place when the sun shines!!!! I hope & pray that the weather will pick up in the remaining days of August. We’re praying for rain here & though it’s the most unseasonal thing at this time of year, we were blessed with a few drops last night following thunder & lightening. I like the analogy of persistent prayer being like water filling up a hose……one day it will burst out in an answer. I hope your garden nonetheless has lots of color like it usually has & you’re taking pleasure in it’s form. My sister is coming for a visit at the end of August so that’s exciting. Lots of love to you & the man in black. I pray for you both often. Áine xx