It’s been over forty years since I had fresh sweet corn from my own garden. That was in Browns Grove, Kentucky, in the summer of 1976. I planted a quarter acre of everything I could think of and it all grew like crazy. I had yellow squash, zucchini squash, pole beans, bush beans, purple-hulled peas, black-eyed peas, tomatoes, potatoes, and sweet corn. Rows of sweet corn. Buckets full of sweet corn. Piles of sweet corn. Fresh corn on the cob. Cream-style corn, fried in an old, black, cast iron skillet. All kinds of wonderful goodness.
That was my one big garden. I’ve grown tomatoes at a few different places since then but no garden. This year I decided to use my rear-tine tiller to mill up a 15 x 20 section of Bermuda and crab grass in our back yard. Although the grass has apparently forgiven the insult and returned with apparent ambition, I’ve been able to harvest a few clumps of kale, a handful of herbs, several tomatoes, four strawberries and two green beans.
Last night, Randa shared the fourth ear of sweet corn. Although I’ve grilled some mighty fine roastin’ ears over the years and had some decent sweet corn primed up in the microwave, I had plumb near forgotten how delicious truly fresh sweet corn can be. Tender, succulent, juicy and well, sweet! Man, oh, man, that’s some mighty fine eatin’.
It’s a shame and a blessing when a man gets to confessing that he’d actually forgotten how good fresh homegrown corn and tomatoes truly are. Too much time away from a thing and even great memories can start to fade.
It’s not completely unlike a great worship experience or your last heart-raw, honest-to-God, down-on-your-knees, crying-in-your-pillow prayer session. Or a quiet walk-and-talk with the Lord down a dirt road, in a cool forest, or beside a quiet lake.
If such memories have faded, maybe it’s time for us to take God up on that invitation to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8)