As a young girl growing up on a rural Texas farm…I enjoyed viewing many open prairies of wild grasses & renegade flowers that sprang up when crops were being rotated.
This gave me one great real-life vision that secretly fed my dull hunger from living the “lone ranger” existence, you know,while ‘’being down on the farm". Simply,it was gazing yearly,especially in the early morning sun, at this wispy angel-hair like grass! Every august when fresh and upright, green-grassy threads were tipped with a glorious fuzzy, plum-red, luminous, soft color.The slightest breeze would move it to the right,while in some spots,the same invisible force suddenly pressed it close to the ground beneath it.Then seemingly on a whim,snatch it over to the left .The constant,repeating of these chaotic movements,almost always was startling to my eye.
Some days,I noticed the airs currents were much more gentle,though still deliberate.Like there were secret whispers in the wind…weaving in and out of the blades of tall grass.Whispers in the wind… saying move like the hands of a hula girl,soft and easy . A whole fluid, ocean like field of this waving,dainty,plum-red grass ,mimicking melodic,undulating grassy, hula girl dancing.. in Waller ,Texas mind you.Regardless,on any day you viewed its rolling ,wavy flux, it was always sweetly hypnotic.
Riding to school ,every year I strained to catch and make note of as many patches or fields for viewing as I could.Why?Because the best was yet to come.I just prayed no farmer would get an’’ itch’’ and decide to turn his fields over early.
Many signals and signs would bring the moment I longed for yearly closer.
Come mid- August ,I could smell fall.It was never on the same day,and it never lingered,but when it came …I would smell it. Daily,after that signal,erratically my pulse would quicken as my anticipation would build.Soon,I said to myself…one day soon.
Fields made ready for harvest.Majestic,long, supple green leafs, now crisp on dried corn stalks, rustled in fall breezes until machines, like school yard bullies, knocked them down. Bully machines that would crack and crackle the spines and strip them of their golden seeds.All, at one time,was young and tender,its fruit coveted with it’s pale-yellow silken hair.Once fresh, sweet, and protected when swaddled in green,was now mature, left almost naked.Her glory sheath only in the remaining shreds of sun bleached paper husks.
Bushels of peanuts at their peak were uprooted for harvest .Once hidden below, now laid open and exposed to the ground above.The kiss of the sun would dry the shells and make them rattle like primitive instruments when carried away.Soon their leaves lay withered on the ground and above the evening sky was orange and mauve at dusk…hanging clouds reflecting the same colors then gave way to clear,cool indigo nights.The real stars made their debut and Venus stood out. The big dipper and the little dipper held their own among others. Finally,Jack frost came, at least ,that’s how I thought of it.Jack,chilling the air, blanketed the ground with tiny ice crystals.I looked forward to a sleep bundled up in many blankets and a crisp new day.
I awoke early…like gifts were waiting for me in the living room,even thought it was way too early for that.I got dressed quickly.I ran too look out from the front porch.Yes!the ground was still covered with a light blanket of ice and in the ditches hung a layer of fog spilling onto the road a bit.I wanted to hurry so mom wouldn’t drive fast to get me to school and I could savor the moment and view,without explanation.We pulled out onto the gravel road and the sun was just starting the show.The air was still and thick with fog.The sun began breaking through…a ray here and a ray there…each highlighting the frost that hung on the upright, now silvery-grass blade threads,tipped with glorious fuzzy, plum-red, luminous, soft color and suddenly turned to dew-drop diamonds…glittering in the pink plum mist across fields as the sun broke through layers of the rising haze.The golden rays soon gave way to a soft sun drenched field with sunbursts everywhere!It was most certainly magic. I would be blessed with these’’sparkle-a -plenty’’ events about a week.Then farmers would begin to plow and the magic would become a buried treasure,once again.But,I had my moments, I felt truly blessed and embraced in the bosom of mother nature.I will always be grateful. I heard her whispers in the wind.
As a young girl growing up on a rural Texas farm…I enjoyed viewing many open prairies of wild grasses & renegade flowers that often sprang up when crops were being rotated.
’’Love in a Mist", nickname for this native perennial grass.
Artist: Mikhail Palinchak