What an exhausting year 2020 has proven to be.
Beyond the normal challenges of too little rain, too much rain, late freeze, wind, hail and rust, we get to deal with a deadly pandemic that has killed 100,000 Americans and threatens the security of the food supply chain.
However, as it always seems to do, time marches on.
That puts us ever closer to wheat harvest for the producers who have escaped events of destruction. For me, it has been calming in the last several days to take a sunny afternoon to just drive past some waving wheat, watching how quickly the heads are popping out in the cool, wet weather around Wichita. It’s hard not to feel a rush of anticipation for what seems so normal in the face of all that’s not.
Listening to the wind in the waving grain, avoiding puddles from overnight rain and enjoying the sun on my face goes a long way toward restoring a sense that everything is going to be all right after all.
That said, I’m not quite ready to take out my AR-15 and head to Topeka to demand my right to gather whenever and wherever in numbers too big to ignore. The threat of getting sick and even dying is real — it’s already happened to more than 9,000 Kansans; 464 more on Friday than on Wednesday. Hundreds of people have required hospital care and almost 200 Kansans are already dead before this contagion completes two months in our midst.
But I am ready to spend time outdoors with my kids and grandkids, even if we have to wear masks and stay at arm’s length. I’m ready enjoy the early blooming flowers, to laugh and eat barbecue and put the fear out of mind for a holiday weekend before heading back into the fray of the fallout that will be coming down the road. I’m ready to see custom cutters arrive and trucks line up at the elevators.
I’m ready to see the green shoots of corn jumping for the sky, and the soybeans and cotton popping through the surface of the soil. I’m ready to see spring calves jumping over straw bales as they play in the green pastures. I’m ready to work in the garden and pick homegrown lettuce for dinner. I’m ready for the zinnas to bloom and the butterflies to come.
Fortunately, all of those things can and will happen. The nature that drives this microscopic pest to invade human cells in the quest to multiply its own numbers is the same nature that makes the wheat ripen, the corn grow tall and butterflies know when to emerge. In that nature, there’s reassurance.
God is still in charge, and I don’t have to gather in big crowds in a stuffy building to be reminded. He’s right in my backyard, waking up the butterflies.