The farmers were in their fields today. Tractors pulling planters up and down and along the sides of the rolling hills with a few hungry seagulls diving in for the insects exposed by the slight soil disturbance. Great caravans of various machines being moved from one field to another with wives and teenage kids at the wheels of some to expedite the move. Men tossing tools to one another as they adjust the discs at the edge of the field.
My dad was a corn farmer. He always had a certain bounce to his step, a certain twinkle to his eye, a certain constant bit of smile this time of year. He loved the seeds and the promise that came with the act of planting them. The cool in the air that meant you could comfortably work a good long day and get the kinks out of the muscles spoiled by their winter of inactivity. Neighbors were out of their houses and on the land and you could stop and share a story with a friend, catch up a little on a day like today. I always miss him most in the springtime. In the first years, I resented the farmers who were still here, resented their families for still having their farmers with them. I pulled over on my drive today and watched some farmers crisscross their fields in their great blocky beasts. I miss him still, but it is with a joyfulness for having had the chance to know him and with less of the desperate sadness of years past. I miss him still and always will, but finally, I could feel a sort of celebration with the farmers out there participating in spring. I'll always miss him most in the springtime.