There’s a house two blocks south of my own where the owners have grown a mini patch of corn in their front yard. As I pass their yard every day I’ve been able to watch the stalks go from tiny little things to now having fully harvest-ready ears. I know and knew that the logical conclusion of someone growing and properly tending to their plants would mean those plants could eventually bear fruit and yet I find myself marveling at this plot of 10 by 8 rows of corn stalks full of edible corn.
Part of the marvel for me is simply successful gardening/farming. I love eating fresh vegetables but my dislike for dirty fingernails coupled with my discomfort with non-exercise based sweat has pushed my gardening success to zero. Because I’ve never successfully gardened, my brain still bends when I see gardening success. I don’t turn into a wide-eyed child when purchasing produce at the co-op because of my extreme sophistication and maturity but when I see it in my neighbor’s lawn I’m a golden retriever watching a card trick.
The most marvelous thing for me, though, is just the sense of surprise I can get from someone’s front lawn. There are certainly plenty of opportunities to be surprised on a daily basis. While I like a fair amount of routine and order in my life I also think Chaos Theory is in play much of the time, creating a huge lack of predictability. I appreciate when that lack of predictability can be found somewhere as pleasant and simple as corn. Sometimes I find the idea that I never really know what will happen next and can’t control anything but only react to what’s happening terrifying and stressful. But that terror and stress can be mitigated when I remind myself that sometime the chaos of life means there will be corn in a front lawn.