I could hear the engine roaring
dust was rising in the west.
The time was late September
and I knew just what it was.
The header knives were thick and sharp
as they cut and pulled in each stalk.
The sound was getting closer
so with camera in hand I ventured for a walk.
Row by row the stalks were falling
while the hopper filled with golden kernels.
Only a small part of the machine’s technique was visible,
the real science was internal.
The farmer invited me to join him
as company is scarce out there.
I climbed up the ladder
and sat comfortably into “my chair” .
For roughly 25 years
my seat has been the same.
The technology and paint has changed
but the farmer has remained.
Sitting beside my father as he carefully steered the beast,
I watched the monitors flash colors
across the large flat screens.
Through GPS I could see the yield and layout of the land,
I praised God for each kernel
and the food we hold in our hands.
A farmer’s daughter knows the value
of hard work and a good meal.
She knows where her food comes from
and has seen the cost is real.
Even with the two-year drought
our corn was better than expected.
Our seed has advanced to the point
it can nearly be resurrected.
My father explained which brand of seeds
they had planted where,
and the screen colors revealed
how high the yield was there.
We chatted about the field and how it always was consistent,
he called it Grandpa’s “Big Field” and
said the ground seemed so resilient.
We hit a bump and he lovingly reached out his hand.
He smiled as I talked and talked about my day and all my plans.
He asked about his grandchild due early next year,
and we laughed together as I told him
that eating is my latest career.
I took a few more snapshots that day,
and thanked God for all we had.
Through the years I will always treasure
riding in the combine with my dad.
Photos and poem by Kara Edwards