We've all seen it. Well, most of us have. Maybe not a dyed-in-the-wool urbanite. But if you've ever driven on any rural road, you've seen it. The "farmers' wave". They're usually driving a pickup truck. When you meet one, they look right at you and raise their index finger off the steering wheel. That's all... just the one finger. That's a "farmers' wave". For years it amused me, then it perplexed me. I've seen it all over the United States, but I'll bet it's just as prevalent in rural Canada. One finger - that's all you get.
I believe I now know what the farmers' wave is. I've lived in rural and semi-rural places all my life. When you're on the road, you are always looking to see if you know the person in the car you're meeting. Because, if you do, you want to acknowledge them and just say "hi". Like when you meet someone you know on the street, you stop and visit for just a second. Men usually shake hands (or at least they used to) before stopping to visit.
And that's what the farmers' wave is - a handshake. In their vehicle, they look straight at you and raise their finger. It's their way of saying "I see you; I recognize your existence; I mean you no harm." One human to another. It's nothing more than an acknowledgement and I kind of like that.