Corn, corn, corn

Featured photo: Last days of blooming for our Gerbera daisies.

You don’t say #6, Saturday 15 October 2016–“Corn, corn, corn, it makes me feel forlorn, on the farm, on the farm; corn, corn, corn, it makes me feel forlorn on the hinky, dinky Double D Farm.

“My eyes are dim, I cannot see, I have not brought my specs with me. . . .”

So goes the song we sang to quiet a one-year-old grand niece 31 years ago on a trip to Michigan’s U.P. This fall, again, farmers are busy harvesting corn and beans.

Sheaves of corn on an Amish farm in LaGrange County.
Sheaves of corn on an Amish farm in LaGrange County, Indiana.

Harvest reminds me of Deacon Dan Zehr from the rural Ontario church I grew up in. He preached once a year at the Monday Thanksgiving Day service in early October.

Year after year Deacon Dan’s sermon was basically the same: “In the spring we prepared the ground and planted seeds. Sometimes we had to plant later than usual. Then we feared that with a wet spring our crops would suffer badly. As summer progressed we complained that since it was too dry we’d surely have a poor crop. Now we have harvested our crops and have reaped 80, 90, 100-fold. ‘Oh ye of little faith.’ God has given the increase. Now let us mend our minds and hearts by thanking God for his mercy, care and faithfulness.”

From Amish corn stalks to modern bigness, the harvest yield is ample. Thanks be to our Maker.

Traditional meets modern on a country road.
Traditional transport meets modern on a country road in LaGrange County.
Corn, corn, corn, acres of corn.
Corn, corn, corn, acres of corn.
Modern takes up almost the whole country road.
This combine takes up the whole country road.

Grant Wood’s ‘Sheaves of Corn’

On Friday we visited the Midwest Museum of American Art in Elkhart with friend Oscar Crawford from Chicago. The museum owns the 1931painting by Grant Wood, “Sheaves of Corn.” It’s beautiful. Evocative. Harvest heavy. In 2007, the painting toured Shanghai and Beijing, China as part of a touring exhibit of “American Today 300 Years of Art from the US.” Would a painting of a John Deere combine go on a world tour? Maybe, if I wasn’t the painter.  Wood also painted “American Gothic.”

The turtle rises again

For some time we’d seen no turtles sunning on the log in the Elkhart River. This week, though, that changed. We saw a turtle and other sights,  including Canada Geese and swans. Meanwhile squirrels buried acorns in our geranium planter, taking the liberty to remove one of the geraniums to make more room for their winter stash. That’s O.K. The flowers will soon be gone.

Stretch time for the lolling amphibian.
Stretch time.
Revelation of fall.
Transparency of fall.
Foraging now and in winter.. Whatever happened to flay away?
Whatever happened to fly away south?

These geraniums only came into their own a few weeks ago. Squirrels have commandeered the planter.
These geraniums only came into their own a few weeks ago. Squirrels have commandeered the planter.
Sunrise, glorious sunrise.
Glorious sunrise.

Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) concert

St. Joseph Valley Camerata and the Goshen College Chamber Choir on Friday joined for a Rachmaninoff program of  hymns from the “All-Night Vigil (‘Vespers’), OP, 37.”

The program notes say, “[W]hether one is a performer or a member of the audience, an event that features Russian Orthodox choral music envelops us in a remarkable artistic experience: one that reminds us of the right relationship between God and humanity; gives us a glimpse of heavenly beauty even while we are still on earth; and engages that  unique intellectual capacity–verbal expression–that distinguishes human beings from all other living creatures.”

It was a cappella music of worship, beauty, and reason-endowed human utterance. What a heavenly hearing in the here and now, a profound message of hope for the here and now.

Best! -John

Asters bloom in our garden at the time when darkness sets in by 7:30 p.m. Bloom away!


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