Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Corn, part one

Grinding hominy into masa harina, in Cailen and Chloe's kitchen near Asheville, North Carolina.  The corn kernels, fat and white and blue, occasionally leap from the grinder and skitter across the floor, the scarce timid ones running under a table to escape.  We will make one hundred delicious tomales.

We arrived just after the corn harvest, and as we entered the home our eyes feasted, the entire harvest stacked up on the table, bare ears resting on top, kernels shining, pure white ears, pure red with a few white kernels, tiny rainbow ears with greens and pinks and blues, and ears of wildly varied maroon and yellow.

We gathered and spoke to the corn later that evening, white mothers on the flanks, plants whose leaves shaded our faces from our father, striped red ones, journeyers, who left in the spring, we did not know if we'd ever see you again, if you would grow and bear fruit.  Passing through another cycle as the old ones do to come around again.  We want to learn and remember your stories.  We kneel at your feet.

Stories like sweet faint aromas on sun-warmed air.

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