Field of Hay Votive


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There has always been something so beautiful, to me, about a field full of hay bales. Such preparation and organization. Like they are sentient beings out there waiting for their usefulness. The sight always brings happiness, plus freshly mown hay smells amazing. 

If there is not enough rain, like the droughts we sometimes have in Oklahoma during the summer, then there is not enough hay. Hay prices skyrocket and some people like to take advantage of others when that happens. The summer before last was one of those such years. I had been willing to buy hay off of social media for about $150/bale until I realized that the driver was going to charge almost as much or more than the cost of the hay to haul and deliver it here. I would have spent about $1000 for just a few bales. So I made do, instead.

We almost did not have enough to last through the winter for our cows. We learned fairly quickly that we needed to conserve hay, and that the cows wasted too much of it when we would haul a bale at a time out to the pasture. A lot of it ends up getting scattered, walked on, and pooped on that way. So I began hauling hay to them twice a day last winter after the first couple of bales. We had to stretch the hay to last through February at least, but hopefully enough through March. So I began hauling it in wheelbarrow loads and throwing it over the fence. It's a lot more work, and it doesn't sound very efficient because of that. But it has proven to be effective and logical. 

This past summer, we were able to get more hay than we were able to get last year. I was overjoyed when we got them all rolled off of the trailer and it was the very picture of preparation lined up in a row. I've learned that farm life and country life in general means being prepared for what will come in the future. It's a good lesson for anyone to learn. 

But this winter, I still conserve hay. I still use the wheelbarrow. Just because there is plenty doesn't mean we should waste. My method may seem silly. But I peel it off by layers, starting at the top, down the sides, and when I get to the middle, that's what I like to call the center of the cinnamon roll.  When it gets to where I can't peel any more off without getting the core out, then I gotta lift the core out. By myself. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. But also is not easy. 

I don't go to the hay bales alone, though. That is my prayer time with God. I pray outside because I feel close to Him there. I can say anything there, it is a place set apart. It's my special place. And I also ask Him for help lifting out the center of the cinnamon roll that is the hay bale. And I guarantee you, He does. I wouldn't be able to do that without Him. I'm a sturdy country girl, but those are a lot heavier than feed bags that I'm used to carrying. But once that is out, it can be unwound until it is manageable for me to lift over the fence. And from there I can continue hauling layer by layer until that bale is done. I think my method is a good one. It works.

But I have learned that when you're in the country, if something's gotta be done, then you've just gotta do it. Whether it's carrying 5 gallon buckets of water, trying to keep newborn baby goats from freezing in a blizzard or ice storm, fixing fence in the heat of summer, or digging graves in frozen ground for a goat that didn't make it, or burying a pet that passed. Just because something is hard doesn't mean it doesn't still have to be done. All of the mundane as well as the difficult tasks are meant to teach us lessons. I have learned that I can do hard things, and I have also learned that I can rely on God.  

I've had some difficult things that I've had to go to the hay bales and talk to Jesus about through tears. Sometimes it be like that. But He always meets me there. 


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