“And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.”
Genesis 2:7

In the springtime I walked the fields
my feet traversing the soil as my father did
my grandfather did
my great grandfather did
Eyes seasoned by the looking, seeing,
the condition of the soil

Stopping, picking up a handful,
sensing the temperature
weighing the sun’s progress against the winter cold
sensing the moisture
sifting in the senses
the experience of generations

Decision time
bring out the machines
till the soil, sifting
the snugging the seeds into their home
on my knees uncovering them, checking them
just right depth
just right compaction
just right soil moisture and temperature
I’m sifting the season

Again I walk the fields
on my knees looking carefully
disease or insect damage?
Tiny plants by millions growing
drawing on the sifted soil
Later walking amidst waist high plants
again checking for disease and insects
A farmer works against ten thousand things we know
and many more yet to know
We know a lot
we know so little

The seasons throw a switch
and begin the walk towards winter
With the fall come harvest
and again the communion with soil
Harvesters begin their toil
giant machines swallowing plants
sifting, sifting sifting
‘til only the seeds, the fruits of all the labor,
are collected and moved to processors or storage
In the sifting, sorting, dry afternoons make dust
swirling about the men and machines
sometimes like a fog lying quietly
moving slowing
gradually returning to the soil

The day comes quickly
when the last row is swallowed up
and the machines are put to rest
The farmer and his helpers too
lie down and rest
but not for long
the next season is in preparation
once again combing the soil
adding plant food, replentishing

Thinking back on all the sifting
the soil that has given us so much
the farmer realizes that he, too,
has been sifted
Like the dust from which he was formed
his destiny is to return
to the soil

“And God blessed the seventh day
and made it holy
because on it He rested
from all the work He had done.”

Selah, LIn 2/10