04 September 2010

a foot in the door to autumn.

The 52 degree crisp night air coming through my dining room window on an early September night makes these words I'm about to share even more beautiful.  I found this book called This Way of Life at an antique store.  The calm red cover with a picture of old barns and a silo that looks as though it was taken just a few miles out of Windom city limits caught my eye.  I immediately picked up the book and turned to a random page to start reading.  There was a humble, genuine truth in the short paragraph I quickly picked to read.  A must have after reading these words and $7 later, the book now sits next to me and my laptop on my dining room table.  The book is a compilation of thoughts of rural women, and I want to share the very first page, especially as we are starting to enter one of the most beautiful times of the year here in Southwestern Minnesota--autumn.  While reading these lines, Windom and its peaceful surroundings is all I can picture in my mind.

"Being an early riser, I often go at dawn to our front door and look out across the spread of fields.  The land lies table level as far as eye can see, stretching its flatness to reach a blue down-curve of sky.
At times the field before me suggests a proud piece of fabric cut to the pattern of a particular season.  The serenity remains constant, yet the field itself is forever changing.  During winter its dull brownness may lie under snow, with nothing more than an occasional jackrabbit train adorning that white blanket.  The sun lifts itself to cast a dazzling illumination over this expanse of emptiness. 
The snow melts, and after that tractors wend up and down pulling plows that stir the soil to a rich new browness.  The smell of moist earth drifts across the road...
The men plow, the spring rain falls on each straight-as-an-arrow row.  The men plant, and in a little while green shoots begin to peek through the earth.  They grow without a sound.
Spring green becomes the deeper green of summer as the stalk reach skyward.  Workers still come occasionally, to set the aluminum tubes through which pours all essential water for irrigation.  The sun, with sultry authority, commands the stalk to stretch high. 
The season progresses.  the sky's indigo blue changes to hazy gray.  My field's green begins to turn yellow-brown, and on the tops of the straight stalks sit proud heads of grain.  The ripen, pledging a rich harvest of grain sorghum.  The men come again, with more machines; the brown and red-gold field gives up its wealth and becomes an expanse of stubble.
All this I can see through the year, contemplating the seasons from our front door.  The tranquility and serenity of nothingness...then the birth of new life, the growth, the harvest...and again the waiting quietness."

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