April 13, 2005


Driving south on Pacific Avenue, I noticed, for the first time this spring, the tractors. The winter rains have stopped, and the farmers are now out in the fields, preparing them for planting.

It's part of the cycle, the seasons, of life around here. It was five years ago, at the beginning of spring, that I first arrived here in the Sacramento Valley. Having been raised in the Los Angeles basin, I was excited to be in such a different place. I am certainly no farmer, but that first year I decided to plant a big garden. I had tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, onions, lettuce, and even corn. I prepared the ground, planted the seeds and the seedlings, kept them watered, and watched them grow.

Then one afternoon, I looked out my kitchen window to see that the neighbor's cow was standing in my garden, eating my corn. A sight such as this was not one that a city boy like myself was equipped to deal with. I made a phone call to a church member who lives just up the street, and asked, "What is the accepted course of action out here when your neighbor's cow has escaped and is eating the corn in your garden?"

His response: "Well, don't shoot it." As if!

A year later, the neighbors moved, and took their cow with them. The couple that lives there now has horses (not cows), and a better fence. Even so, I still do not have a garden. I saw tomato seedlings on sale today at the store in town, and was tempted to buy some, or maybe just one, but decided to pass. I decided to leave the growing of crops to those who know what they're doing. Besides, after five years, I find that I've become more involved in just about everything, and I don't think I have the time for gardening. I still think it would be nice to have just one tomato plant, but I don't know if it will actually happen.

It's mostly rice that is grown around here, and soon the rice will be planted, and then the gates will be opened, flooding the rice fields with melted snow from the Sierra Nevada. And as I drive two miles to the fruit & vegetable stand to buy my produce, or ride my bike if the weather is not too hot and my flat tire is fixed, I'll pass by those rice fields, shining beneath the bright California sun. If I were to take a picture of it and send it to you, there wouldn't be much to see. Just a flat, flooded field beneath a pale blue sky; two fields of blue. However, with each passing season, it does seem to me to grow just a little more beautiful.


Michael said...

It is amazing to look out your window and see a cow munching on your vegetation. We were in a similiar situation last year. It was a small herd of 8 cows mowing down a few bushes and trying to take a drink out of the pool.
My son joking said we need to defend ourselves and cook one of them.

Take Care

reverendmother said...

Well you know my feelings on the matter... :-)

The Big Z said...

Hi, this is Allison Z. Your blog looks boring. It's just grey...like an elephant. Heh, the other day in the car I was playing a word game with Ethan and Tristan. The game was to think of a word that started with the last letter of the word previously said. like apple...elephant...tree. The boys picked up on it fast. Heh, they both screamed elephant after apple.
Anyways, your blog is very cool. It's very insightful in places, and the writing is very good. Much like your sermons, which you are definetely improving with. Entertaining and insightful, and the fact that even non-christians can relate to them. I really enjoy both your blog and your sermons.

PPB said...

I have no negative feelings about the grey color! I think grey is beautiful! And I think your writing style is, too.