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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Exotic (08/08/13)

TITLE: To Martha's Corner and Back
By Laura Hawbaker


Got a minute?

Well, then take one. I know it has been a hard day, but come on out. Spend a few moments with me. I am going to take you on a bike tour to Marthaís corner and back.

Donít laugh. I realize pedaling a bike to Marthaís corner isnít exactly that exotic cruise we talked about, but it is closer and a whole lot cheaper.

You have worked hard enough today. Shut the computer off and letís go. I know, I know. You are tired and your knees already hurt. Marthaís corner isnít far. It will be relaxing. I promise you wonít regret it.

Ready? To begin our tour we will turn left out of the lane. Pedal slowly and look around. Notice our sea of green? To the right is a corn field, dense and tall, tawny tasseled. The ears, covered in green husks, are still perky and growing, not yet heavy with maturity. Now we come to a field of soy beans, dark green plants mounded like hedges in perfectly straight rows. Beneath the rich foliage, unseen from the road, baby beans are growingóBB sized beans encased in fuzzy little pods. Fertile land, this. A farmerís paradise. Breathe deeply. Smell the richness, the earthiness, the growing-ness.

Notice those white towers on the horizon? Those are grain elevators, storage bins for the anticipated harvestóthe tallest structures in these parts. Now, I must admit the scenery from here to Marthaís corner is pretty much the sameócorn and beans and beans and corn, so now would be a good time to look up.

Look at the clouds. See that soft pink, the pastel purple? The setting sun? Let your mind loose. Relax. Feel the cooling of the day.

Well, here we are at Marthaís corner. Yes, of course I know Martha has been dead for several years. Her house isnít even here anymore, but I still call it Marthaís corner. Itís a good place to turn around and head back home. See, this hasnít been so hard. Your knees donít feel too bad do they? Youíve got to admit itís better than sitting in that stuffy house.

OK. Now letís ride fast. Hold your head high! Catch the breeze. Pedal hard up the rise in the road, coast down the other side. Bicycling offers a unique combinationóa bit of speed without the sound of a motor. Smell! Sniff! No exhaust fumes!

Slow down. Catch your breath. Almost home. To your left you will see an abandoned windmill, beautifully stark against the darkening sky. Once a vital part of an active homestead, tonight it stands still and useless.

Pedal slowly, turn into the lane, coast to the back yard. Hush, donít talk. Listen to the quiet twitter of birds saying goodnight. Hear the crescendo of the locustís song, and in their sudden silence, the chirp of crickets. Summer twilight, Godís perfect dimmer switch.

Sit with me on the yard swing a moment or two longer. Letís watch God bring out his evening decorations. A cantaloupe slice of moon and its attendant evening star. Fireflies flitting about in the lawn.

Relaxed? I thought so.

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This article has been read 270 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Linda Goergen08/15/13
Well, that was the easiest bike ride I have ever been onÖ and so enjoyable! I am not a bit out of breath, though youíve shone me some breathless views. And what a great messageówho needs exotic when God paints masterpieces in our everyday surroundings; if we will just take the time to look! Really enjoyed this trip to Marthaís corner and back!
Cheryl von Drehle08/16/13
Unusual style of story... Very creative use of 2nd person. I also like your word pictures... Almost poetic prose at times. Well done enjoyable read
C D Swanson 08/20/13
I enjoyed this so much, that I've read it four times now! Thanks for the journey...It was enlightening.

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/22/13
Congratulations on placing 11th in your level and 18 overall! (The highest rankings can be found on the message boards)