Yesterday's Magazette

14 – The Cornfields

The Cornfields

By Meg E.

The cornfields still hold the histories of this place. Because unlike people, the harvest of corn comes back every season, the same cornfields tussled in the same wind. When people come back to this place once a year for family reunions, they are always older. I am older. We, like the cornfields, fall away and are re-birthed, but when the old fall away, their memories do as well.

When I walk through this place, I find that it is all foreign, new, changed, and all of its inhabitants are strangers. It’s sad to see that this is a family, yet with time’s pace, I feel I know none of them. Mother mentions them once or twice a season, but this is the first time I have truly seen some of their faces, heard their stories, been welcomed by their arms. It’s terribly awkward, yet sad and happy as well. I have to wonder what will happen as the generations grow old and as history and memories are forgotten.

The stalks of corn rub against the sides of a rotting old shed, and I wonder why that shed is there. Mother tells the stories of when it was built, when she played in it as a girl, when her husband bought his first tractor and put it in there. I certainly won’t remember it all, but will someone else? Will her stories be told for generations to come, or will they be forgotten in the future?

I want to remember, I’ll say. And though I may be only a guest to this place, I want to have this place in my thoughts, remember what life used to be. So few of us try to imagine what life once was, for we are all so caught up in the now, the future, but never the past.

How can we go forward if we have no earlier guidance? How can we call ourselves “learned” when we know nothing of each other’s experience? That is where I learned all that I know: not in school or in textbooks, but in memories, in lives, listening to other voices. That is perhaps why I talk so little, can only be around people for so long, for it overwhelms me: my thoughts coinciding with theirs, my ideas lit by their own. This is how we are meant to grow, to learn: through the past of others.


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