He fell in love with a simple field of wheat, and I’ve felt this way, too; melted, like a pool of mint chip ice cream, foolishly in love, even though we know how it turns out in the end: snicked by the scythe, burnt in the furnace of the August sun, threshed, separated, kernel from chaff. But right now, it’s spring, and the wheat aligns in orderly rows: Yellow green. Snap pea. Sage. Celadon. His brush strokes pile on, wave after wave, as the haystacks liquefy, slide off the canvas, roll on down to the sea. ~Barbara Crooker “Field with Wheat Stacks” from Les Fauves.
There is nothing here but wheat, no blade too slight for his attention: long swaying brush strokes, pale greens, slithery yellows, the hopefulness of early spring. All grass is flesh, says the prophet. Here, there are no gorgeous azures stamped with almond blossoms, no screaming sky clawed with crows, no sunflowers roiling gold and orange, impasto thick as Midi sunlight. His brush herringboned up each stalk, the elemental concerns of sun, rain, dirt, while his scrim of pain receded into the underpainting. He let the wind play through the stems like a violin, turning the surface liquid, a sea of green, shifting eddies and currents. No sky, no horizon; the world as wheat. ~Barbara Crooker, “Ears of Wheat, 1890” from Les Fauves
I continually fall in love with the fields in my world – I’m unable to take my eyes off them as they green up in the spring, as they wave in the breeze in June, as they turn into gold in August.
Each day brings a change to record and remember.
The colors pile on, one after another after another until it all must be cut short, harvested, stored and consumed, leaving behind the raw shorn remnants.
Yet in stubble is the memory of something that was once truly grand and beautiful and will be again.
Even stubble in a simple field reminds me of what is yet to come.
There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.
― Victor Hugo in Les Misérables
We are on a cross-country road trip to take our daughter back to college, with no time for stopping and taking good focused photos. I apologize these are taken in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota through a buggy-mess windshield at 70 mph.
The expanse of sky stretching seemingly to infinity never fails to awe me on these trips.
As high and broad and endless the sky appears, so much more so are our souls deep within us. We are created everlasting; instead, in our Fall and brokenness, we face the limitations of our bodies. We feel so finite yet our souls are anything but — they are the image and reflection of our Creator.
When we look up– at the clouds, at the stars, at the moon and sun, we are reminded to look within and acknowledge in deep humility — we are His. Bugs and all, even when we are speeding along through our God-given life, too busy to notice the grandeur around us and in us.