Storm Clouds

Richard Sandry

Two years after writing this piece, Richard quit farming.

It is a nice warm June afternoon. The sky is a robin’s egg blue with the white cumulus clouds lazily drifting on their way to their rendezvous with the horizon. A gentle breeze ripples my short-sleeved shirt as I gaze out over the cornfield. Knee-high already and the deepest dark green you can imagine. I think about all of the money we borrowed and all of the planning and time it took to get that crop to where it is now.

My son comes to my side.  Now my mind drifts back to when I was his age and I stood beside my father looking at the results of his toil those years before. Then I think, is this the end of the line?  I think of how farming has changed over my lifetime, of how we have progressed to where profits are practically nonexistent.  What has he to look forward to should he wish to farm? I am filled with a deep sadness and fear for his future, as I have seen an interest in raising livestock and working with the soil being nurtured in him, maybe even bred right into him.  “Let’s go to lunch, Dad,” he says.

This brings me back to reality, and for the moment I forget the future and the past.  I look to the west and see the dark ominous storm clouds rapidly moving upon us.  “We had better hurry,” I tell him, “or we are going to get wet.”  In the back of my mind I remember something being said on the radio this morning about storms coming this way.

We finally get home and just as we come into the house, the rain begins to fall. Shortly the full fury of the storm is upon us.  As I watch, looking out through the window, I think of how the days of my life go.  How the clouds on the horizon of my sunrises sometimes, later in the day, turn into the black clouds of fear, of despair, of anger, of uncertainty, and of depression.

As suddenly as it began the storm ends.  The corn is bent but not broken. Soon the sun will come out and the corn will straighten and begin to grow again.  I think how a turnaround in the farm economy would revive the farmers, make them refreshed with that spirit and vigor that has always been a farmer’s attribute.

Tonight I will thank the Lord for seeing me through today and ask for guidance for tomorrow.  With spirits bent but not broken.”