"To think of the Midwest as a whole as anything other than beautiful is to ignore the extraordinary power of the land. The lushness of the grass and trees in August [...], the rich smell of soil, the evening sunlight over a field of wheat, or the crickets chirping at dusk on a residential street: All of it, it has always made me feel at peace [...] It is the place I am calmest and most myself." — Curtis Sittenfeld
The cornfield above is just a stone's throw down my street. One usually is when you're living in central Illinois. It's a kind of comfort you can't find, say, on the streets of Chicago (although, if you're ever in town, get the mayonnaise and Parmesan corn of the cob from the street vendors there. Trust me.). No matter where I am, I can drive five minutes in any direction, and be out in the middle of the country. Even the city-loving girl in me likes a bit of stillness like that.
This corn, however, came from the farmer's market. We roamed the aisles of vendors last Saturday, and came home with seven ears of delicious sweet corn. When I say it's my favorite vegetable, and one of my favorite summer meals, I'm not exaggerating in the least.
It's one of the first things that come to mind when I think of Illinois. It just feels like home. It is home.
Last night, in a last-hurrah-of-summer gesture, Sky grilled hot dogs in the backyard while I shucked the ears and let them boil for a few minutes. He wore a jacket while he was outside, but it almost felt like the middle of July in the kitchen.
Millie had her first ear of corn. It was the best dinner theater just watching her try to eat it.
And when dinner was done, and everything was cleared from the table, I took a moment to remind myself that the seasons really are shifting into fall.