Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Bright Golden Haze

Theirs a bright golden haze on the meadow. There's a bright golden haze on the meadow.

The musical Oklahoma had it right. In Darke County, the landscape is a bright golden haze. Fields and fields of gold appeared every fall. In the country quiet, you can hear the leaves of the stalks slapping one another. The corn silk turns brown and dry. Ears push out of their summer cocoons. It was a good day when Dad walked into the kitchen holding a full ear of ripened corn. We knew the harvest would be good that year. We knew we would have an easier winter.

Dad drove the corn picker into the field, the wagon attached behind. Corn was separated from the chaff as the picker clipped off the stalks then moved up the elevator and into the wagon. Quickly the wagon was filled with bushels of gold. Once the wagons were filled, the corn was shoveled into the tall elevator that dumped the corn into the bins in the old corn crib. Brenda and I would sit on the beam high above the floor of the crib watching the corn drop into our summer playhouse.

Tractors pulling wagons and truck laden with the fall crop made their way down Neff Road to the elevator. Corn would be stored. Feed bins would be filled. Winter for families and their stock would be easier.

The corn rustled in the field beneath my bedroom window. The sound lulled me to sleep. Perhaps I even heard the sound of it growing.

The corn is as high as an elephant's eye, an' it looks like its climbin' clear up to the sky....

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