Knee High By the Fourth of July

There are millions of metaphors for time. Measuring time, the speed at which it passes, it’s infiniteness, its meaning and so on. In Ohio, there is a portion of the year that we measure time with corn. If you’ve never had the pleasure of driving through Ohio, then you may not be aware of what the rest of the world already knows–in Ohio, we grow corn and lots of it. I may be biased, but I have to say it is probably the best corn you’ll ever sink your teeth into as well. That said, whether cognizant of it or not, Ohioans measure their summer with corn. Spring has passed when the first seedling has sprouted and school is starting when the harvest hits. It’s just the natural order of things. In order for there to be a good crop, it is said that the corn should be knee high by the 4th of July, and I’m happy to report that this year it is even a bit above the knee. (Of course, that is pretty typical these days thanks to Monsanto.)

I’m spending a lot of time driving back and forth between this tiny town and another for the purpose of seeing someone who is becoming an increasing part of my life. The other day I was making the now familiar journey when it occurred to me that not only was the corn in good shape, but I just might be growing too. When I started making this trip the corn had barely sprouted and now it’s more than halfway to harvest. And there I was measuring time in corn, I actually laughed to myself. The last time corn was my clock I was a child, but somehow the comfort of it’s paradoxical slow and steadiness coupled with the surprise of seeming rapidity of its passage was strange and familiar all at once.

In a few short days, I will experience the last birthday I plan to have until 29 is an obvious and overt lie (or I’m happily married and settled into domestic life, whichever comes first) and my life feels like an Ohio summer. Part of me sees Fall right around the corner and is holding on for dear life to the waning days of summer while another part of me is looking forward to the Fall and what it might bring. There are moments when I wonder how I ended up here, literally and figuratively. I imagined facing 30 from a different vantage point. At some moments I yearn to turn back, wish I could start the season over in hopes of yielding a better crop, while at other times I wonder if the perfect crop will be just what I harvest this Fall. I meant to be somewhere else, and now I’m measuring time with corn! That said, I’m going to view it positively because after all, it’s about growth and regrowth and that is what I always hope to see in my life wherever I may land.

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