Friday, April 20, 2007

in the country

Late afternoon. The thermometer registers 70. I head out on my bike.

I have made my way through so much of the countryside just outside Madison and still, I am, each time, amazed how American it feels. And I mean this in an expansive way.

Three girls, sitting in the driveway, because it’s warm, school’s out, the week-end is here.


Three Hmong women, walking through a cornfield.


I ask them – are you looking to farm it? Yes, they say. They have heard this parcel may be available for the season. Do you want to grow things for the market? Oh no! We don’t know enough about farming. Just for home use.

Can you imagine the incredible determination behind this (potential) venture? Would you have it in you to take over a wetlands cornfield and make something of it for your family, just for the season?


A robin watches all this. He is unquestionably the marker of spring. Hey robin, do you simply observe, or can you tell me a thing or two about tomorrow?