I unwrapped seven gifts before dinner tonight. I took my time with each layer, trying to imagine the care of the one who chose the wrapping and crafted the contents. Tonight i wanted to honor the process of receiving these gifts and preparing to share them by taking my time and by allowing each sense to be involved.
Each gift was delicately done up, ribbons at the top, neat, tidy, and complete. Each one was perfect in its own way, though not without blemish. Some of the contents of the packages had already been sampled, some had been missing from the very beginning. There remained a harmony, though, among the pieces that remained. Nothing could have been added to make them more sweet than they were.
As layers came free, some of the pieces broke open and spilled onto my hands. I could smell anad taste the glory of what lie ahead. The closer I got to the gift itself, the wrapping began to squeak and cling to what it was created to protect. I pulled and tugged seven times, clearing away the bows and ribbons that sometimes tangled themselves in the creases and cracks of the gift being offered to me.
When all were freed from wrappings, trappings, and finery, I found myself giving thanks. Thanks for creativity, thanks for imagination, thanks for nature,
and thanks for corn.
Nothing quite like fresh corn on the cob to make me remember summer days of my chidhood...being told to play outside, being off by myself, happily self entertained for hours on end. Remembering kool-aid ice cubes served in recycled yogurt cups at my grandmother's home, being given a paper bag of corn from the garden and another empty bag with the mandate to shuck before twenty minutes prior to dinner...days of listening to bull frogs, learning to tie knots from an old Boy Scout handbook, and figuring out how to siphon a bucket of water from the second floor kitchen balcony, across the driveway, down the side yard, to the apple trees just to see if I could. Summer days filled with trips to the library and cinnamon fireballs from the grocery store where my mother shopped while I was looking for books. Days filled with sorting the books and deciding the order I would read them, reading to the point of delicious gluttony, and wandering through and among trees, imagining what it would be like to fly or be invisible, pressing my face against earth and breathing in the scent of quartz, soil, leaf, God.
Yes, nothing like sweet corn to remind me of part of the tale of how I became who I am now.
Handcranked home-made ice cream and being charged with sitting on the board... now that's a whole other set of reminders.
We grew corn in the back yard-with other things. We had it for dessert, would run out after dinner to pick it then schuck it, and plunge it into already boiling water-so that it would lose none of it's sweetness.
Ahhh! One of the great things about the Midwest...the garden. How I remember...a counter lined with just picked and washed lettuce drying on a paper towel runway, my brother, father, and grandfather eating kholarabi straight from the ground, stitting in the garage popping out shelly beans from their pods...
Warm earth, warm days, dinner that tasted like exactly what was on the plate in front of you.
Perfect. It all comes flooding back sometimes with the simplest of foods, doesn't it?
Who ever thinks of being an adult eating corn on the cob?!?
True! Yes, the memories are of childhood times, not any of the myriad of times I've eaten it as an adult too.
Perhaps it is bland compared to other cuisines in the country, but having been raised in it, I must say that there is something to be said for letting things taste like precisely what they are...and somehow, the soil in the midwest is ideally calibrated to produce vegetables that, when kissed with butter, nudged with salt, and tickled with fresh pepper, burst onto the plate with self esteem and invitation.
By the way, have I ever told you that the image I use with my profile and comments is a kitchen window in the rectory where JEStuart grew up? I took the photo two summers back.
Okay...so I am a wee bit envious! And think that's really cool, all at the same time!
Wow. Very cool. You had me hooked on this post!
Oh... and welcome to RevGals! :)
Thank you for the welcome, the stop-by, and the comment! This was a fun one to write on any number of levels-- how far could I go before mentioning the actual thing itself? How much could I convey of those great childhood summer days of liberty and contemplation? And did I really realize how much of that conveyance was connected to having grown up in the earthy midwest?
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