Our Rural Roots

Not All Diamonds Shine

Image by Getty Images

While Marilyn Monroe sang about diamonds being a girl’s best friend, this blonde excludes herself from that notion. Instead, this spring I’ll pull my preferred “diamond” from the shed to the hayfield.

For years, it wasn’t shiny, was hard to maneuver and caused a lot of heartache (usually in the form of backache). Then last year, we traded our old hay rake in for an upgrade, and my favorite job on the farm got even better.

It’s hard to explain to people who’ve never raked hay or spent time in a tractor exactly how and why it brings me so much joy. It’s even harder to explain how and why a new hay rake was one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. But, I talk about it anyway. I believe it’s important to share what brings us joy.

For me, it’s about working alongside my husband getting a job done that benefits our farm, our cattle and, in turn, our family. It’s about the satisfaction of learning to operate machinery that would have at one time felt larger than life yet now gives me life. It’s about rewards from quiet time in the tractor cab, allowing my mind to escape all the other places it feels pulled.

I know my new rake won’t stay shiny forever. But, looking over my shoulder, I can see how far I’ve come from my first time raking on an open cab tractor--eating dust, climbing off and on all day to wrangle a large piece of steel--to now and the luxury of levers in an
air-conditioned
cab tractor.

There’s something in the repetitiveness of the around and around that creates a balm for all the hectic rounds of life outside the field. That kind of contentment is more precious and rare than any diamond.Blogger Meredith Bernard rakes on a family farm in North Carolina. Follow her on Twitter at @thisfarmwife, and visit her website at thisfarmwife.com and her vlog post about raking at bit.ly/HayThisIsHowWeDoIt.

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