soybeans, most had not yet been harvested. There were a few
freshly cut alfalfa fields and the contrasting tall golden corn was so
lovely. Even though I am a city girl, my roots are firmly planted in
the farmlands of the Midwest, and I enjoy basking in their simple
The Netflix film, waiting in my mailbox on our return, was Terrence
Malick's Days of Heaven. Synchronicity came into play with my
thoughts of farmland and harvest. I was previously unaware of this
film's theme and had ordered it by suggestion of Netflix; you know,
the "if you liked this movie, you'll will like this one" kind of thing.
As it turned out, this was one of the most stunningly beautiful films
I've ever seen. It's a story about a young man (Richard Geer) who
flees Chicago in the early 1900s after an accidental murder in a steel
mill. He takes his girlfriend (Brooke Adams) and his younger sister
(Linda Manz, pictured above) to work harvesting wheat in Texas.
The photographic genius of cinematographer, Néstor Almendros, who
won an Oscar for his work, and the endearing narration of the story,
by the raspy voiced young Manz, makes for an extraordinary
experience. Doesn't she look like she could be the girl on the left, in
thrashing photo below?
I descend from five generations of Indiana farmers and my DNA was
particularly tingling as I watched this movie. My grandfather
(pictured below, on a thrasher) told me stories of he and his brother
working with teams of thrashers, like this one pictured above, in
Ervin Township, Howard County, Indiana. It was very much a
community affair; the men and the traction engine were rotated
through the farms until all the harvest was in, and the woman would
get together and cook generous hot meals for the workers.
The scene from the movie below, of the dispensing of a blessing on
the field of wheat, before the harvest begins, is especially touching.
Now is the perfect season for watching this gorgeous movie, and
almost time to get out the woolly socks, too. So, do yourself a favor,
and add this film to your queue. It was so heavenly, I'm watching it
top photo: Flax worker near Yeovil, First World War, by Horace Nicholls