Around here, you can tell time by the corn stalks. Today, they are high and nearly bare, the summer preparing itself to end by shedding the last of its crop. I watched them the other morning as I drove, watched the way they stood there beside the road, silent bystanders to the rising sun. I wondered how many hours and gallons of water had been poured upon them to reach this point of nakedness. Now that they have done their job, they will soon be plowed over and the earth will be worked and toiled to prepare for the frost ahead.
As June enters a new phase of toddler-dom, I wanted to draw an allusion between her growth and the corn, but the more I thought about it, the less the analogy seemed to work. Although she spent the summer among the stalks, as they are cut down she will continue to sprout up. Nature is not always fair, it seems. At least not for corn. With the cooling winds, we will watch her language continue to evolve and with it, the complexities of her character will emerge, as they already seem to be each day. Being a toddler is not always easy, I am learning. Like rain and wind upon the stalks, some days require greater strength from us.
This past weekend, June and I went to the greenhouse to get our week’s fresh eggs, vegetables and fruit. While I gathered our things, she carried her newest baby doll in her arms, loudly singing Happy Birthday, unbothered by the strangers around her. I watched her for a moment, as she boldly walked around the market. This sprite young girl is boiling over with charisma and there seems to be no holding her back. As I piled our fruits and vegetables on the counter, I watched her tell the cashier about the “happy birthday cake” she had made that morning. I’m not sure if the cashier understood a word June said, but she kindly nodded in conversation to the boisterous two-year old. If I could make just one wish for June, it would be that she continues to share her energy with the those around her. In the chaos of the world around us, sometimes it’s nice to stop and talk about cake.
At home, June helped me unpack our goodies from the farmer’s market, carefully placing the ears of corn in a neat row on the counter. Then off she went to make more birthday cake, baby doll in tow: a toddler’s job is never done.