As a sort-of chicken and egg analogy, for me, I am not quite sure which happens first as a sign of fall; I wake up in the middle of the night with a chill and need to put another blanket on the bed, or I walk past one of the corn fields near me and think “Hmmm…I wonder when it will be time to harvest the crop?”
With an extra blanket on my bed and windows now open at ‘half-mast’, I was not surprised when, just the other day, the harvesting of the cornfields began. This year, when I heard the sound of the machine, I made a point to put on my sneakers, go outside and watch.  It’s been over a decade that harvesting has happened just outside my windows and yet, I have never fully observed the process…
Typically, as the spring begins to turn into a warm summer with days of bright sun casting longer and longer shadows on the fields surrounding me, I notice that the first signs of cornstalks emerge, suddenly beginning to change the vast brown expanse of dirt into a green, infinity edge pool of growth. Then I notice, weeks later, that my view of the surrounding hills is suddenly blocked by tall stalks with budding corn husks. Just as I get used to the complexities and occurrences within the corn field, watching the stalks on the outer edges trying desperately to catch up to their taller, heartier field-mates on the protected inside, I notice that I am wearing a sweatshirt on my walk and begin to wonder when the harvest will occur.
This year, it was late morning when I heard the roar of the harvesting machine and with a break from my school-work on the agenda; I rushed outside for my birds-eye view of the process.  I was not disappointed. I am certain that over the centuries, crop growing and harvesting techniques have changed, with horsepower initially deriving its meaning from the actual number of horses farmers used to plant and harvest their crop, to a meaning now of how powerful a piece of farming equipment is; yet, I am equally certain, especially after watching the process, that the concept of harvesting remains the same.
Growing and harvesting a crop of food, whether it be for animals or humans, is based on a notion of cooperation and timing.  People and the planet need to work together in an efficient manner and at the right time in order for the work to get done.  Too much heat, rain or cold will affect the yield of the crop. So too will the efficiency and communication of those who are harvesting it.  The driver of the machine that cuts the crop needs to count on the drivers of the trucks who are catching the valuable output.  Stopping to wait wastes time and trucks which are not positioned properly, miss the crop.  I was amazed at how quickly and efficiently the whole process was with the harvest truck never having to wait for the catching truck to be there.  If only all facets of our world worked that way…
Cooperate! Cooperate!
Kathy Naumann, possessor of NATURALLY curly hair and the understanding that you can’t control everything!


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