The morning after the Field of Dreams game got me thinking…
I live out in the rural country of western Colorado, which is a far cry from my quintessential ‘burbs upbringing outside of Cincinnati, Ohio.
I always knew I was a country girl at heart – drawn to running around barefoot, playing in any open field, woods, or creek beds I could find. I was always dirt-covered, grimy and sporting stubbed toes. In fact, one of my uncles called me Hillbilly until he passed away due to my disdain for wearing shoes and socks. I’m still not convinced he ever knew my real name.
But there is something beautiful, peaceful, and calming about country living.
Early every spring, my kids and I anxiously await seeing the farm equipment down the road at the neighbor’s field, prepping the newly thawed ground for seed. We love when the rows take shape and as spring emerges, we try to be the first to spot the green as stems begin to pop through the mounds of dirt, row after row. If you squint your eyes just right on day 2 or 3 after the stems catch sun, it looks like a vibrant green blanket was methodically placed over the field.
We get super excited because when those little stalks show, it means things are warming up and summer is on the way!
In the blink of an eye, those little stalks are up to our knees, and we marvel at how fast it’s grown as we take our usual bike ride at dusk down the farm road to the second stop sign.
Another blink and the stalks are shoulder height. The 4th of July is upon us, and the dog days of summer have moved into the western CO desert.
What seems like a day goes by and the corn starts growing ears, and tassels at the top necessary for its germination process.
Before we know it, the corn is towering above us. We comment on how fast the summer is going and try our best to reflect on our favorite moments thus far. Most of mine revolve around watching my kids run around barefoot, covered in dirt, and smiling from ear to ear (pun intended).
It’s a sweet, deliberate passing of time.
I’m not always the best at taking account of those moments. Moments a friend of mine would describe as the ones when you are absolutely, positively sure you are truly living. But as I get older, I’m starting to pause, notice and hopefully even appreciate them more and more.
The truth is, it’s easy to become a victim of the speed of this passing of time. After all, each passing year is a smaller percent of our total life than the one before (right, Scooter?).
School started and with it brings the low rumble of combines harvesting the best sweet corn you’ll ever taste in your life. My kids yell, “There’s Frank!” in homage to the movie Cars every time they see one rolling down the rows.
I used to sing Tim McGraw’s “Where the Green Grass Grows” from 1998 in my bedroom growing up, with my cassette-over-radio recording blasting…in the ‘burbs. I just love the chorus:
I’m gonna live where the green grass grows
Watch my corn pop up in rows
Every night be tucked in close to you
Raise our kids where the good Lord’s blessed
Point our rockin’ chairs towards the West
And plant our dreams where the peaceful river flows
Where the green grass grows
I love what I do, don’t get me wrong, but what I do is not who I am. Who I am is comprised of those life-giving moments, with the ones I love. And do you know what? It doesn’t really matter if you live in the country, in the ‘burbs, in the city or anywhere else. We all have these moments of life. And while none of us can perfectly catch them all, I’m determined to catch as many as I can, and sear them into the depths of my memory for as long as I can.
What about you? What gives you life, and how can you grasp and appreciate those moments?
I love this C.S. Lewis quote:
“The truth is, of course, that what one regards has interruptions are precisely one’s life.”