I often think, that when we are young, we are presented with breathtaking loveliness, but we push it to the back of our consciousness. Some part of us, on some level, notes it, but does not think any more about it.
Yet, years later, it can resurface in vivid clarity, to gladden our thoughts & inner eye. We see again, the bluest of blue skies, the ripe, browning, tall grass, rippling in summer breezes, ready for haymaking harvest.
That whole process, waiting until it was dry. Cutting the grass. The process of 'tedding', to ensure the grass was turned, & dried evenly, so it didn't rot or moulder.
Unhappy the farmer, whose hay got ruined by rain. Hence the saying, "Make hay while the sun shines".
The rush to get it all baled & into the shed, so no bad weather could destroy the farmer's winter stock of nice dry hay, to feed his stock, when the growth was low, & there was not enough grass to feed the stock.
The gangs that would work tirelessly, to get the harvest in, so that life in the continuum of farming could go on.
That wonderful smell of the hayshed, which our children & grandchildren will never know.
The sheer joy, of lying in the hayshed, on the wonderful warm, redolent, scratchy, bales of hay. Even the smell of the baling twine catching an aromatic note in the nose. That wonderful scent that spoke of Summer, for years to come.
Watching the motes of dust in the sunlight from the open hayshed door, where the sun streams through. Or the closed hayshed door, in the cracks, as you snuggled with a young love, secure & happy in each other's arms. Such innocent, young, pleasure in each other's company. Dreaming dreams of where our futures might lie.
On a trip back to the town of our growing years, my Beloved Brother & I, where we spent most of our childhood.
We returned to visit the cottage of our childhood, our Grandparents', house, & were saddened somehow, to see the fields of green grass, the fields of gold, had all gone. The lopsided trees that had grown to the wind, on neighbouring farms, the falling down, lichen encrusted fence posts, with rusting number 8 wire, all gone.
The cottage was undergoing renovations. A young couple had bought it, because it was sound, & was built of very good timber. It looked very small & insignificant. All the land surrounding, has now gone to new housing. There are no fields left for us to visit, of our dreams & memories .
The huge Feijoa hedge, grown for refuge from the screaming neighbours, over the road, all gone.
Our Grandmother's beautiful oldfashioned Cabbage Rose, gone. The perfume of that rose was intoxicating! The lovely blooms as large as dinnerplates, the shade of pink I have never seen again.
The fruit from the hedge gave us many a night of dessert delight. The strange green fruit, that tasted of fruit salad.
The fruit trees of our youth, Nectarine, Peach, Tamarillo, all have gone, the wonderful garden now houses a huge 2 storied house.In the spot where once our chooks roosted, & were happy to lay their eggs!
I wonder if there are happy vibes left from those happy chooks.
I wonder if the happy childhood pranks & thoughts of my brother & I have somehow remained in that space?
Of course, our hay bale memories will remain our secret. There are no such old fashioned hay bales, or sheds now. The huge rolls of hay are the fashion now. They can be seen dotting the rural landscape, covered in huge plastic covers. Is this really progress?
I know the reality of manpower, & twine, & haysheds are lessened. All of the machinery ~"International Harvester" Hay Baling machines. What became of those, I wonder? Are they now in some museum? Making modern generations giggle at their primitive design?
Those huge supplies of twine, which became dyed green for some reason? I wonder what became of those? What use is twine today? I can still hear the curses as the 'cutter' for the twine around the bales, malfunctioned!
I hate to think of the plastic though. The loss of jobs. The life that was "Haymaking Time". The wonderful sense of community that the local farmers had, when they all 'mucked in together' to share HayMaking.
"Silver Threads Among the Gold", I have no idea who sung this, but I remember it from my childhood!