Can You Hear the Corn Grow?
Nina Warriner of Bath, NY, USA
Be patient with one another, for creating sacred community is arduous and even painful. But it is to loving community such as this that each is called. Be courageous and visionary, believing in the power of just a few vibrant witnesses to transform the world. -Doctrine and Covenants 161:3c
Recently my husband and I began taking early morning walks. We are fortunate enough to live on a hill amongst hundreds of acres of farmland. We have one neighbor a quarter mile to the west of us and another half mile to the east. Our “neighborhood” is quiet and peaceful. We are able to hear countless birds each morning, bullfrogs and crickets in the evening, and the rustling of leaves any time the wind blows. I found out recently that it’s apparently even possible to hear the corn grow.
One morning, we walked by a corn field, one which we had just passed the day before. I remarked that I honestly thought the corn was noticeably higher. My husband replied, “You know the saying about hearing the corn grow, don’t you?” I truthfully couldn’t answer that I did. (Possibly a condition of growing up in the suburbs of a city.) I soon learned that once the corn gets knee high it can grow one to three inches a day until it is fully mature. It is said that during this time the corn grows so fast that it can often be heard making creaking and popping noises, especially just before dawn. He went on to explain that once the corn is knee high its leaves are broad enough to shade the ground, creating a barrier from the heat of the sun. This helps the soil maintain its moisture, thus allowing the corn to have optimum conditions for growth.
This newfound information caused me to pause our walk and take in the vastness of the field before us. As I reflected upon this information, I began to see more than just a cornfield. I was seeing individual stalks of corn, each having sprouted from a separate seed, each a unique plant on its own. Yet there they were, standing unified as one protective canopy, caring for their shared foundation, the earth in which they were planted.
Each morning as I walk our road, I witness an expression of the Worth of All Persons, All Are Called, Unity in Diversity, and the Blessings of Community. I am reminded of our call to be community. A place where each is nurtured, accepted, and protected; a condition where every individual feels welcome to share of themselves, thus creating the beautiful landscape of the collective. It’s not something that will grow overnight as the corn does. “Creating sacred space is arduous and even painful.” However, we are commissioned to stand with one another to create something as massive and amazing as that corn field. Can you hear the corn grow? Can you hear the lessons it teaches us?
“May I open myself to change, to being guided by the Spirit; may I risk the unknown and live into the Mystery!” (Nan C. Merrill, Psalms for Praying, 234)
Opportunities for new beginnings occur in each moment, day, or year. Even when we feel stuck, the Spirit is always offering an invitation to return to our deeper intention of living life fully with God, others, creation, and our truest selves. Pay attention at the opening of this new year to what feels like a fresh beginning in you. Where is the Spirit inviting you into a new possibility, awareness, or way of being?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
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