Thursday, February 23, 2012


As a girl I loved to drive by the corn fields on our way to school, I loved the way that driving by at a certain speed, the row of corn next to the divot of space next to the row of corn conjured a Rockettes kick line in my head. 

We lived in Billings, MT, and even though it’s the biggest city in Montana, it was still somewhat rural.  It didn’t take long to get out of the developed areas, past the church, then the golf course, and then to the cornfields.  On a recent visit, when I drove down roads that were once familiar, I was saddened that strip malls had swallowed up the cornfields.  Development inevitably has a way of digesting the open spaces and while it feels on some level like progress, it feels sad at the same time.

I didn’t grow up on a farm by any stretch of the imagination, but I went to school with kids that did. I guess it’s because of these friendships that I understand some of the concepts of rural life.  Somehow I must have gotten it through osmosis, or maybe conversation, the way it must be to work with large animals, to grow crops, to own more than just the yard around your house, but acres as well.

So, when I was reading a friend’s essay recently, the idea of “taking a break from love” to let “loneliness lay fallow on her tongue” hit me so dramatically.

The concept of letting a field lay fallow is to let it rest for a season, not to have crops growing in it taking from the soil, but giving the soil a chance to catch up, so to speak, to soak up nutrients, to receive before it gives back.

As I’ve been thinking about dating again, I’ve felt so impatient.  I feel like I need to hurry up and meet someone, I’m ready to just “get on with it.”  But I don’t get to choose.  I don’t get to decide when.

So I love the idea of my heart being fallow.  For this season, until the right one comes along again, I’ll think of it not as impatiently waiting, but as letting my heart lie fallow.  I’ll let it soak up the rain, gain richness from its surroundings.   Yes, I like that idea very much.


  1. That is a really great metaphor-- especially apt for the "love and lost" nature of our widow's world.