Waiting for corn to ripen is like staring at a pot of water, gunning for boiling point.
During this heat wave, the sprinkler waters from first light until noon, then supper time until dark. The ground grows hard quickly in between times.
What will become of the corn, I wonder. After more than a month of “you call this summer?” what I’ve always understood to be mid-July heat has finally settled in. Thousands of unnamed insects (back ends stuck together) flutter about. It’s now or never, they tell each other. Procreate now.
We’re eating the first stand of corn. I planted six blocks of corn, staggered by weeks so it wouldn’t be all ready at once. In prior years, ripening came on faster than harvest and the race was on, like panicked tomato pulling the evening of first frost.
I loathe rushing. I want to be that water boiling in its own good time. Let the rest of the farm wait for tea. Let me enjoy myself doing this for a change, without rush, without worry for wasted opportunity.
And what about tea anyway? Too many times I’ve met people at the door or in the yard. Too many times I’ve bid farewell without inviting them in for a beverage and visit. I’ve been just too busy. That isn’t the old ways or the best way and frankly, whatever notion preventing me from slowing enough to visit, will get the boot henceforth.
Realizing I was always my own slave master, this year I’ve deliberately slowed things down.
Last year I saved seed from the corn that went directly to over-ripe. This was a good thing indeed. That same organic, non-GMO seed matured perfectly and has produced great corn this year. Our late onset of spring and summer had me wondering whether we’d even eat corn this year. Even now, some predict early frost, which could deem this staggered planting experiment a flop. Time, once again, will tell.
But there’s lots of time, isn’t there? I find myself resisting the urge to hurry, the pressure; the notion that time is money. Is it?
Time is a moment flitting by whether I’m running like a lunatic (because I might make a few bucks on a batch of jam before suppertime), or sipping homemade iced tea on a patio swing with my kids. Which option makes me richer?