It's a do-over, on account of I'm tired this week. But it's also a favorite, and I still love those bales of hay. I hope you enjoyed the fair this week! - Liz
I feel kind of cheated sometimes. Drawing ideas for columns from the news is something every columnist I know of does. Or used to. The only ones who can do that anymore are political or religious writers. They know they will have support from those whose beliefs coincide with theirs and will be called names and have their intelligence and education questioned by those whose do not. They know it going in, so that they won't be surprised when people they don't know talk mean stuff about their family members, pets, and how they voted in 1992.
Well, okay, that's the way it is. Sigh. But for people like me, whose ideas are limited to begin with, whose skins are too thin for name-calling, and who wants everyone to like her, it gets dang difficult.
So let's talk about hay.
I've been sitting here looking at the round bales in the field just west of the yard. They're framed by trees, and I have been enjoying the picture of them ever since they were baled a few weeks back. Their outer color has changed, losing its verdancy in a segue to gray that makes them less pretty, but no less attractive.
It's like people age, isn't it? They lose hair color and sometimes hair, their skin loses elasticity, and their shapes get a little less...shapely. They're not as pretty as they were in their springtimes for the most part, but they're attractive nevertheless. They still look great in a frame.
Bales of hay probably aren't all that big of a deal to everyone. If you never played in the haymow with kittens...or hid in the haymow because you hated everyone and everyone hated you and you wished you were dead...or maybe spent some haymow time with the boyfriend of the summer...or shared confidences with friends (about the boyfriend)...well, chances are you don't see the charm.
But hay in the barn offered a place of privacy and quiet and sometimes even spirituality. If there was a rope to swing from, it was also a place of adventure and a possible concussion.
Bales of hay are dusty and scratchy, but they smell so good--especially when they're fairly new--that describing the scent is a lot like answering when someone says what is love? It's different for everyone.
Before hay is baled, it's cut and then left in tidy windrows to dry. Hay isn't the only plant that makes it into the bales. There are grasses and weeds and prickly things. There are other things, too, that I'm not going to go into here. You know, in case some cow is reading this and decides she's not going to eat that, after all. And leaves a mean comment here and calls me names.
I'd venture to say my little treatise on bales of hay won't change anyone's mind about them. If you didn't think they were interesting before--beyond possibly thinking when they're dressed in their white covers, they look like tractor eggs or steroid-filled marshmallows--you probably won't be too impressed by them now. If you liked them already, you're going to know what I've been talking about and you're going to remember spending some time in a hayloft. Or maybe you're going to itch. Either way, you'll like it.
This is how it needs to be if a columnist writes something drawn from what's in the news, isn't it? If you don't like it before, you probably won't like it afterward, either, but you haven't been hurt by it. You can argue its point without feeling the need to malign either the writer or what is written--no matter how intensely you may dislike bales of hay. If you do like it before, you will feel represented, something we all need, and maybe you'll say something nice.
Have a great week. Be nice to somebody.