We wake. We water the beautiful things. Nora watches the barn swallow nest, and I watch Nora, both of us marveling at God's beautiful things and how we long to understand them or at least be a part of their growing into what they were made to be: beautiful. My mom was reminding me of this tonight. I tend to lean on the functional, and a part of this slowness I've been wanting to cultivate relies a lot on beauty. Somewhere along the way, I forgot that beauty has a function, and the pretty things seemed frivolous. Somewhere in this heart, the girl who used to live on beauty and a couple packages of ramen a day must have whispered, "Line the journey up and down the stairs with flowers, so every time you come home and each time you leave, you'll remember to look for it everywhere."
The cucumbers and basil were ready to bring in, and with a little slow attention, they became 4 quarts of pickles and a lot of pesto. Functional. Beautiful.
We drive to York where Grandma and Grandpa live. I listen to more Sufjan Stevens on the way (functional and beautiful), fill the gas tank, drop off some recycling and then we put on hats.
We drive in Grandpa's pickup through corn-tunneled dirt roads to his brother's place where they've planted a patch of sweet corn big enough to lose yourself in (if you're a mountain girl who is used to seeing something on the horizon other than the horizon.)
And Grandpa and I head out into the field with 5 gallon buckets and Nora and Mom unload the buckets. I'm surprised at how clean the ground is around the corn. I'm so used to my own garden's messy floor. Picking corn is: tunnel of green stalks, hand feeling for the ripe ears (some are ready, some not and it's easier to tell with your hand than with your eye), sound of twist and snap, bucket getting heavier, layers of brown, green, blue.
Nora was born a Georgia peach, and now she's officially a Nebraska cornhusker, too.
And when we've picked enough for ourselves and a few others, we thank Mike's brother and his wife, drink straight from the garden hose, communally curse the name "bind weed," pet the cocker spaniel and head back to York where we dump the ears like a load of fish on the deck to cool off and I'm thinking about being on a boat and swearing there is nothing to catch and He tells me to try again. And there it is: some sort of abundant beautiful.
Thank you to Chris and Terry for sharing these gifts with us.