It’s June, and around here that’s the season of rising temperatures, goodbye parties and little round haystacks.
The haystacks sit rolled up in fields inside and around the city, straw-yellow rolls on a landscape of parched stubble. The swaying grass has been cut, rolled up and now waits patiently in the sun for the day when it will be piled up precariously on a back of a truck and taken away.
I’ve been thinking about these haystacks a lot as I’ve watched friends pack up their homes and say their goodbyes this week. They too are experiencing the end of a season and wondering what the next one will be like. Their lives have been cut down and rolled up, and they sit now in this field, in the odd period of in-betweeness, waiting, and saying goodbye.
One day it will be my turn. For now, my heart is aching for the friendships that will be missed – empty fields in the landscape of my life.
The haybales that I’m seeing everywhere mark the end of a season, it’s ok, right even, to be sad that the grass no longer ripples at the touch of the wind, green from the winter rains or white from the spring sunshine. It’s ok to be sad, but it’s also a time of year to be hopeful.
Because God’s word for us at this time of year, for the leavers and the left-behinds, is this: the goodness is not lost.
The goodness is not lost.
The grass is cut and rolled up because it’s made it to the end of its season. If it were to stay in the field it would dry out, and the goodness stored up in it during this season would be lost forever. But the haybale keeps the grass inside it fresh. The goodness and growth is locked in so that it can be of use in a new season.
All that you’ve learned, all that you’ve grown, all the love and grace and hope that you have received and then given out to others… all that is not lost. Somehow it’s just rolled up and put away for another season.
I’m sure I don’t completely understand this picture. But even as the cumulative grief of friends leaving is catching at my heart, so I can feel the hope in these haybales. God knows what he is doing – the goodness will not be lost.