there’s only a harvest when we break out of the mold

All along the far side of the field, the pods tangle, hang waiting in the gilded and the swollen and the tractor keeps pressing alongside for the filling, the combine reel spinning, a ferris wheel rising and falling, sweeping pods up and in, splitting open each dry shell for a string of white pearled beans and a celebration of harvest.







Out here, in fields and dirt, out here in crop and harvest, out here with the kids and the Farmer and the brother-in-law, I meander, tangled, waiting for filling, sorrow swollen and stretching hard to get off this spinning, rising, falling world.

A week of tin shacks and luminous children have split me right open.

When I wash dishes in warm water, at a sink, something howls inside an emptiness, a wind moaning through a canyon. The walls of me quake. I tell my sister I don’t know why the shower makes me cry. Why this weeping grief? Sin? My greed? My guilt?

A gust rattles bean pods.


Maybe I weep for love. Maybe this is right and good, the sacrifices of God a broken heart. The combine keeps splitting pods.





And September runs steady and certain with it, a current singing, a stream of beans, filling bins and wagons and bins, and I begin to feel it, the hollows of our souls filling full with the sun made pearls, with the wonder of treasure hidden in a field, kingdom of heaven found in the giving, and I am willing.

The Farmer wears his “Just Smile” shirt and I wear my “This is the Way, Walk in It” socks and in the passing in the field, we smile a knowing at each other, us the broken beggars stretching out and willing, willing to buy the field with the one fine eternal pearl, to fill our hands any way we can with the kingdom of heaven.


The fields are gold this evening.

Gilded in light and heaviness, the harvest ready, and there are workers, there will be workers, we are all the workers, filling the bins with yield.

And all the beans broken right out of their pods.

Photos: bean harvest 2010
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