Friday, July 06, 2007

farms, flowers, and flutterbyes

It's summer in the midwest, which means a few things:
--farms full of corn that gets both taller and darker green every day
--wildflowers along every road--many near church are purple and orange

Since I live in an extremely strange place--in a suburb of a major metropolitan area, and yet on the edge of the rural midwest--I can go one direction for city or the other directions for farmland. Most of the farms grow corn--lots and lots of corn. Most of it is feed corn, so I'll never get to eat it, just look at it longingly as the ever darkening leaves flutter in the breeze. When there is a breeze to break up the humid heat.

Every Wednesday afternoon I drive 8 miles west from church to the salute! farm where I pick up a box of just-picked veggies, and where I cut some fresh herbs from a lovely herb spiral behind high fences. The drive out there involves hills and curves and a gravel road. The scenery includes old fashioned red barns, more corn, and very few cars. It's a lovely drive and I often make it with my windows rolled down (but the a/c still on!) so I can enjoy being out in "the country."

My regular drive to work is similarly pretty, but only part of it and for a different reason. In my ten minute commute, approximately 6 minutes is city driving, with traffic and djstores and lights and businesses. The last four minutes are past two cornfields, the pasture for some beef cattle (and their adorable calves!), a barn, a grain elevator, and a house where the people keep chickens and roosters--who regularly wander into the street causing me to have to wait until the rooster has decided to go back into the yard. Currently this last 4 minutes also include flower-lined roads. The purple flowers are definitely wildflowers, but the orange I'm not so sure. We have these same flowers planted alongside the church building, so I wonder if these, 1/4 mile away from our (or anyone else's) planting, are the result of wind and bees. Perhaps. (photo forthcoming, promise!)

With all these flowers and all this ruralia, the butterflies are swarming. There are tons and tons of them all around--monarchs, white, yellow, every color, every size. They are beautiful. When I see them I think of my mom--not because she particularly loved them, but because there was a lone butterfly in Dawson Hall, fluttering around the doorway of the flat where I made the phone call home, when I found out she was gone. Butterflies are great symbols of life, resurrection, hope, beauty, etc, and that butterfly that day helped me out. And now here they are, fluttering around every time I go outside. It's great. (almost as cool as the lightning bugs that hang out in the grass near the cornfields! at night they look like confetti along the roadside, flashing and flickering. They always make me smile!)

and now we return to your regularly scheduled summer friday programming....

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