Saturday, September 14, 2013

Granny's Pantry # 6: Morning glories

Granny's Pantry # 6

When I was young, Granddaddy Cole plowed the fields at High Rock with two horses named Dan and Ada. 
Dan was white and good natured—one we could ride on occasion when his work was done. Ada was chestnut brown and not to be trusted by young riders—a lady with a bad reputation. Granddaddy’s mornings came early, and he was always in the field long before I got up for breakfast. After lunch, he would stretch out on the chaise lounge in front of Granny’s kitchen work table and take a short nap before going back out to finish plowing.

Sometimes I liked to tag along with Granddaddy when he went out to plow. He grasped the wooden plow handles and reins, calling out “Gee!” or “Haw!” to direct the horses and keep the rows straight as the metal plow tips cut through rocky soil. Granddaddy made the whole process look so easy that one day I begged him to let me try…and found out it wasn’t—thus ending my plowing career.

One detail that always makes me think of those times in the field with Granddaddy is the tangles of morning glories growing along the edges of where he worked. There was majesty in their wildness and beauty in their untamed spirit as these simple flowers of blue or white, pink or purple marked the borders of the fields. 

I’ve tried planting packages of morning glories in pots or boxes, but those are never as glorious as wild ones, uncultivated and left to their own devices. This year, I didn’t even try. My fall backs were the morning glories that grow wild  in front of the hay barn where I go to feed the barn cat.

This year, the vines were sumptuous, but mostly bare of blooms. I waited and fretted…were the seeds hybrid and failing to reproduce properly? (I read these flowers are annuals…not true for the ones I know.) Was it the weed control that had been broadcast (without my knowledge) causing the problem? Where were my morning glories? I missed them. I longed for them.

And then one morning this week when I went down to feed, there was a riot of purple blossoms covering the bottom of the barn and reaching up in places toward the roof. I was overjoyed. Their beauty was breathtaking…a gift to me and a tribute to my Granddaddy. 


When their time was right…not morning glories bloomed. Wild and untamed, yet fragile, each of their flowers lasts but a day. It has only a few hours to share its beauty before it fades.

To every thing there is a season
… (Ecclesiastes 3:1)  The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.  (Isaiah 40:8)  Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment… (Hebrews 9:27)

***[From The Project Gutenberg EBook of Riley Songs of Home, by James Whitcomb Riley--

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