A Love Letter to Farmersville

I’ve visited Farmersville only once before - in the depths of November when the sky was grey and fields bare, but the tables were filled with Thanksgiving. 

I had never experienced the lush green that is a midwest summer. 

Ohio breathed hello on an early Tuesday morning - the earth already covered in a blanket of humidity, its air thick and heavy. In an ode to my Floridian roots, beads of sweat trickled from my neck, traced down the lines of my back and pooled in the crevices of my body.

My pores opened up to the memory of southern summers, my ears filled with a sweet, forgotten song - a symphony of crickets calling back to the cicadas and lightning bugs of my youth.

Seventy-six percent humidity is no kindred spirit of mine, and seven years in the west has severed any semblance of a relationship we once had. I enjoyed those fields from afar, keeping company with my bosom buddy the air conditioner. But the symphony continued to pervade the windows and walls. 

We rocked on an old porch swing, its cushions stiff from the elements and its hinges creaking from disuse. Each swing brought a breeze, and with it, an introduction to the sweat bee - a winged foe who feeds on the sweat of those courageous enough to tempt the heat. 

Less intrusive than a mosquito, the sweat bee is more of a nuisance - an exploiter of your clammy exterior, a pillager of your sweat. He is reason enough to forgo swinging and return to the arms of cool, manufactured air. 

Crepuscular rays, or “God’s rays” pool over a field of soybeans. Elise Giordano 2019.

Soybean plants shimmer with condensation in the early morning hours. Elise Giordano 2019.

A bird flies over a soybean field in Ohio. Elise Giordano 2019.

Moisture gathers on corn leaves. Elise Giordano 2019.

The morning brings respite. 

Humidity is visible, a blanket of fog rising over acres of corn and pillows of soybeans. Leaves shimmer with condensation and crepuscular rays drown the fields in velvety light. The world looks different here beneath “God’s rays.”

It’s flat. 

But in a way that captures my attention. It breathes life into the words “amber waves of grain.” A sea of green that feeds America. 

Despite my desire for forgotten coastlines and ragged mountaintops, my heart hurts to leave this flatland. Nostalgia pulls. 

Apprehensive stares greet us from the porches of lone farmhouses. We smile and wave, but I don’t blame them for their misgivings. My Eden is their livelihood - one that is contingent upon good weather, hearty labor and hungry stomachs. There is no room for a stranger’s error.

As the sun rises, the fog gives way, and the heat begins to settle. When we pause, sweat bees gather to say hello, and morning’s final beads of dew drip from stalks of corn, gathering on leaves below.

The cricket symphony carries us past rows of corn and back the way we came. Heat licks the asphalt, and its haze rests at eye level. We’re met with throngs of birds rising as one from the fields, congregating in search of forgotten soy beans. 

And by the time we’re back to our sweet yellow house lined with purple lilies, my back is damp with sweat. I’m dreaming of the sun tea that’s been brewing on the porch since yesterday. 

On an early Sunday morning, I’m sad to leave. Ohio sighs goodbye with brilliant flashes of light in the distance and a promise of rain on the horizon. 

The symphony continues to permeate all the way out West, via a 10-hour loop online.

Sometimes I forget they’re not really here. 

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