In her weekly column, Pamela Loxley Drake reflects on the imagery and memory of her family farm.

COURTESY PHOTO - Pamela Loxley DrakeThe gold shifted in the wind. When the wind rested, the carpet of gold stood quietly waiting.

Shhhhh. If you listen, you just might hear the gold field singing.

Watching crops grow is quite a fascinating thing. Well, it's more fascinating when you move away and can no longer hear or see the steady greens and golds grown from seeds to the plants joining one another as if to say, "We salute your efforts."

A golden field of wheat rustles and sometimes seems to rattle with the breeze. Before long, the winter wheat will meet with the combine. As Dad passed though the field with the combine, the thickness of the wall was revealed. Paths through the wheat forest were carved creating a map as it progressed.

However, the weather did not always allow the grain to stand tall. Often the swirls caused by strong wind flattened sections of the crop.

I remember Dad always hoping that it would stand up once more so the grain would not be lost. And more often than not, it did.

I find at my delightful older age, I recognize farming for what it is. A beautiful dance with nature. A challenge. A dedication with survival determination.

The farm I took for granted created more than a life for a family. I was more than money in the bank and shoes for school. It is more than a memory.

Our farm created three daughters. It is the backbone of who we became. The work ethic. The struggles as well as the successes. That being part of a community that lived and worked the same as yours.

Life and death on the farm taught us compassion and empathy. Windows were opened daily, bringing wisdom and depth to three girls.

Many the day I sat doing nothing but looking out over the fields. I walked the lanes going nowhere in particular. I learned to observe, to contemplate, to hear the songs of nature.

The field of gold was my life. It grew from seeds. As it grew, it reached out and combined with the others making a blanket of gold. No matter what befell it, there was hope. The paths Dad created in it were the layers of life being stripped away seeds to create more life.

The blanket of gold is my life. I hear the richness it sang. In this meaningful time of my life, I add my song.

Pamela Loxley Drake is a Beaverton resident and self-described lifelong "farm girl." You can contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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