The Green, Green Grass of Home

     The Fertile Crescent was located in the historical region comprised of Ancient Egypt, the Levant and Mesopotamia. Though this area no longer exists in the prominent political state it once did it remains to many The Cradle of Civilization, home to the origins of writing, complex societies and modern agriculture practices; arguably the birthplace of modern mankind. It was in the welcoming climate and lush fields of the Fertile Crescent that wheat was first domesticated and took a prominent place in the development of society as we know it. Though the crescent has seen its day and passed into an uncertain night the wild einkorn and emmer that birthed the multitude still watch over the descendants in shades of green and gold. Here, half a world away, their offspring, in the form of winter wheat, is waist high and stretches out behind the house in endless acres to the horizon.

     The gaze of the dying day crowns the stalks in coronets of burnished light. Liquid gold rushes and sways above the earth in flowing currents as far as the eye can see. The bottom of the yard, where the lawn ends and the wheat begins, is the only place the foundation can be seen. There the individual stalks stand in sharp contrast to the golden plane above. The wheat is a living mass bending to the will of the wind and reflecting the colours of the sky. In the morning the secret travels of deer are betrayed in wide swathes where their passage has disturbed the dew. Swallows skim over the waves of golden green, that break as the lake crests, looking for dinner in the still twilight hours. Blackbirds, crows, robins and meadowlarks settle among the stalks all-a-gossip while keeping a mother’s proud eye on fledglings fumbling up to the sky (the amber is a softer place to fall after all).

     The rank and file, beetles, ants, and centipedes, wind their way through galleries lined with massive columns of corded green. On the ground below the days are not marked by a tick tock but the angle of light passing through the great ceiling of towering honey and fresh cress. Even under the bright blaze of noon or the driving rain of a summer storm the wheat stretches above in a seemingly endless and eternal protection from the great wide sky. Winged insects traverse the upper reaches of the flaxen firmament. True to each ones’ nature they careen wildly from side to side or gently round the tawny trunks. Bees harvest the clover that grows hidden in the shadow of the wheat while flies and mosquitoes hide from the heat of day. Dragonflies and damselflies patrol the ceiling and spiders spin their webs from stalk to stalk hoping to catch the harvest that lives within. Just past the border foxes and raccoons leave the remains of midnight repasts. Puddles of baby soft feathers trickle in shades of eider grey and odd shaped bones gnawed thin at the edges by pointed teeth gleam a dull white.

     Come August the wheat that has blushed copper with the heat of the sun will fall beneath the farmer’s blade. The stalks that sheltered and fed a multitude in the field will leave to feed and shelter others…but August has yet to come. Now in June, even when there is no wind, the wheat sways with a communal rhythm of its own. Deep emerald touched with gold, it moves with us, walking the same path start to finish, growing, feeding, sheltering, urging us on through time and through tide…the green, green grass of home.