Not just a bin of corn

Published 7:39 am Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Those large metal cylinders that dot our landscape look uncomplicated enough. With a hole in the roof, the farmer simply drops the crop in and shuts the top.

But I’m telling you, there’s a lot more than corn in that bin.

It’s crammed with planning. What variety to plant? How thick should it be? What fields to plant with that crop? The Boone Field? Turner Farm? Clubhouse Field?

Somewhere inside is the roar of the first tractor that pulled into the field last March. I don’t know how, but it’s tucked in there somewhere.

It’s filled with choosing when to plant. When will be the last frost? Is there rain coming? If so, which fields should be planted first? If it’s dry, should it be planted deeper? How much deeper?

There’s drops of sweat inside that dripped from a man’s forehead into the seed hoppers last spring.

It contains vast amounts of anticipation. Waiting for the first leaf to pop through the ground. Then another. Then another. Counting the plants to see if there are enough to make a good crop. Hoping they all emerge together so the first won’t overpower the last. Do we need to replant?

There are a few curse words in there. When the chain came off the planter. That tractor tire going flat in the back field. The August wind that blew the stalks over. Those blame turkeys scratching up a quarter-acre for breakfast in the Milton field.

It holds thunderstorms. The “2-incher” that came in July. The August storm that struck that tree at the river. The one that woke you and your wife up at 2:30 a.m. But the one you wanted so desperately to come in June — but didn’t — is not in there.

There’s dirt from someone overfilling the truck at harvest and shoveling it off the ground back into the truck.

It contains a little blood, a few blisters, and a whole lot of man hours.

All there crammed in that one bin.

You back up and look at it from the east. Then you walk towards the west and gaze. Coming close, you reach out and touch it. A tap on the side emits a dull thud that says it’s full. You want to stretch your arms around the whole thing and hold it and smell it and swim in it. Part of you is inside that thing.

Oh yeah. It’s more than just a bin of corn.