This is a lovely post about someone building a haystack. Enjoy!
Symbols remind us of what’s important. A wedding ring symbolizes a commitment. A lushly green, well-watered lawn symbolizes suburban perfection. A signed baseball symbolizes a brush with fame.
For my uncle, a perfect haystack symbolizes a summer’s work.
I recently found a black-and-white picture of the haystack in my uncle’s collection of personal photos.
“You’ve had this photo for 40-some years,” I said. “There must be a reason you kept it so long.”
“That hay stack represented a finished job,” Uncle Lee said. “I don’t get many ‘finished jobs’ in my line of work now.”
Nowadays, making hay is highly mechanized. Round bales, created by a machine, dot the rural landscape around the little town where I live on the outskirts of Chicago.
But a century ago, hay was cut with scythes and moved with pitchforks, and haystacks shaped like little houses were fixtures of the Midwestern landscape. Square balers…
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