My birthday is the day before Halloween and has always been recognized by my family as a blessing and a curse because it takes place at the peak of harvest. This means dad was always distracted and busy in the field, combining the crops and working against time and weather.
While he was busy on the farm, my mom held down the fort, making sure the livestock were taken care of while spending much of her time winterizing our house. It was also time for sorting pigs for market and selecting those for breeding stock.
Historically rural neighbors and community folks work together to make sure everyone gets their crops harvested on time. This is especially true during times of need, when a farmer has been injured or has even died. The strength of the community shines bright as we come together as a sort of family, working to help one another. There is a lot going on at this time of year on the farm.
But the whirl of activities never bothered me. Autumn is such a beautiful and bountiful season highlighted with the changing colors of our landscape. The corn transitions from green to warm yellow ochre while soybeans take on shades of burnt sienna. It was a bonus for me to have my birthday at this time of year, and trick-or treating just extended the party. Rural kids were transported to town where we joined our friends in this Halloween ritual. Even with the additional chores, my birthday always felt special.
For me harvest season has always been celebrated with my family’s favorite secret Birthday chocolate cake and a visit to the pumpkin patch, which I have continued to do with my daughter. We also like exploring spooky corn mazes and going for a hayride in the moonlight with warm blankets. It’s the best way to experience the season.