I was not aware of it at the time, but I think the moment she first came into our field was the moment I began to die. I remember it being a few weeks before the Day of the Longest Sun. It was the middle of a long, dry summer, and we were so thirsty that day – unbearably thir...
<p>I was not aware of it at the time, but I think the moment she first came into our field was the moment I began to die. I remember it being a few weeks before the Day of the Longest Sun. It was the middle of a long, dry summer, and we were so thirsty that day – unbearably thirsty. I remember the feel of our leaves wilting, but we were happy for the hot rays of life, and we smiled towards our Sun despite the thirst. My brothers and sisters stood tall, and I stretched to reach their height.</p>
<p><em>If our yellow could meet the Sun’s yellow,</em> we thought, <em>we could live forever.</em></p>
<p>We had visitors every so often - children with sticky fingers and men with calloused palms and wet mouths that muttered about how we would save their marriage - but no one visited as much as she. She found us, and she stayed. We saw her often, and she never seemed to want more than to lie with us and sweat and smile. I think we made her happy then.</p>
<p>Some days she would lie on her front and watch the ants, drawing circles in the dirt with her fingertips. Some days she would stay alert and run through the field, flapping her arms at the birds that would land on our great black eyes and pluck out our seeds. Some days she would come to us with tired feet and sagging shoulders, caressing the soft hairs on our stalks as she drifted off to sleep. Some days she would stay until everything became shadows.</p>
<p>She continued to visit us even when the days grew cold. We slowly turned into a shriveled mass of black and gray, our roots fighting against the hardened ground and icy rain, yet she still saw us as things of beauty – as friends. She lay with us in the cold and whispered her secrets to our roots, begging us to carry them deep into the soil, and we did. She whispered until her breath became nothing but a cloud of frozen air, and then she would cry. If we could know love, we agreed that we would love her. </p>
<p>She came to our field on and off for months, and then, suddenly, she left.</p>
<p>We forgot about her. We saw new children with sticky fingers and women with small smiles and gentle hands, and we lived. The Sun came back and the ground melted and we shed the gray that was killing us. We could stretch again without fear of our stalks snapping. Some of our brothers had died in the cold, and som...