The cotton harvest has begun. This morning, I saw a row of svelte, cylindrical bales — each wrapped in sleek yellow plastic — outside the gin, and this afternoon they’d been joined by several of the bulky, rectangular kind which sit upon the ground wearing only ill-fitting tarpaulin caps. New and old converging in the gin-yard.

Every year I notice: pleased to see the rows of bales assembling, sorry when they’re gone leaving only a dirty cotton residue on the ground. And, while I wear cotton clothing often enough, these bales have little bearing on my day-to-day life. I wonder why I care?

But I like to watch the progress of things around me: the way they build roads and bridges and storm-drains, the growth of houses from smooth dirt through rough pine frames to the shingles of the ridge-caps and the sod on the muddy yards. And, yes, the crops: corn from pale green sprouts to moldy stubble, with the corn a golden pile beside the barns and silos; cotton to its full green height, the brown-and-white after defoliation,  strewn on the roadsides, baled in the gin-yard.

My work is in a world of so many abstractions. I deal with ideas and I deal with people. Ideas can’t be touched; people can’t be built or gathered like houses or corn. The results I get to see aren’t the only results there will be — I hope! — and ways of quantifying the products of teaching only work so far.

Sometimes, I think I care about the cotton because I like to see things reach completion. And while I am an incomplete person, living in the world of incomplete people, I have this confidence: my God cares to complete the work He has begun; I shall not live in the partial forever.


Today I wrote longer than five minutes on Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday prompt: care. Click the button above to visit her site and read more about it!

© 2014 by Stacy Nott

4 thoughts on “Noticing, Day 10 (and Five Minute Friday): care

  1. Your words are beautifully descriptive; I can almost smell the cotton bales as I read. I can relate to the want to see things finished. 🙂 I’m a finisher and sometimes working with people in ministry or other relationships is just too “squishy” for me. I’m learning it takes faith, and it sounds like we might be learning some of the same things. Thanks for sharing!
    Cherise, visiting from the FMF party


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s