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Highway 138

There is a particular country road that I love to travel, especially in the spring. The views are spectacular in all seasons, but in the spring, I meet Persephone there and feel the surety that growth and fertility will prevail after the tedious long days of winter. Highway 138 is quirky: from one day to the next it doesn’t seem like the same road, because the surrounding land continually transforms. The rolling road and ever-changing horizon keep me riveted, aware that I should be watchful for change in every aspect of my life. The faces of the fields, pastures, and farmlands teach fluidity and responsiveness to the elements and the progression of the seasons. Rigidity is softened in the presence of earthy simplicity. The metaphor is plain to me and I delight in Nature's persistent coaching, which reliably instills hope and strength.

Every time I travel that way, I witness simple wonders that sometimes bring me to tears: the uncountable shades of green; the eyes’ pleasure center responding to certain greens in the spring fields; the morning horizon, with a robin’s egg blue sky and new sunlight saturating every particle of life, including me.

Early in June, translucent green tips of new corn erupt in elaborate rows that submit to the earth's curves. Precise whorls, zigzags, and labyrinthine patterns on beautiful Black women’s heads are miniatures of the vast fields of corn rows along this particular road. Persephone adorns herself in the most elaborate ways. Aphrodite and Oshun have begun their seductions. The beauty takes my breath away and calls libido and inspiration to action.

Late in July when the fields have gathered height, the energy of Corn Beings rolls along with my car as I pass through their territory. Sometimes the corn presence puts me into a sort of time warp and I have a hard time driving. Cornfields — not only plants — have consciousness and a sense of purpose. Corn recognizes kindred spirits and calls to us like a siren to a seafarer. Be careful. Corn knows nothing about steering tons of steel at 50 mph on a hill-bound curve. Corn only knows sprouting, growth, life, and transformation. If I give in to the windswept whispers of the Corn Beings, well, let's just say that my destiny will be altered. I want to be able to pull over and just watch and breathe, but my purpose on this highway is driven by my work schedule, and people will be upset if I dawdle and arrive late.

The road is hilly, curvy, and elevated so that lush verdant farmlands lie across the earth looking like a colorful quilt that's been tossed across a grand bed. I do not really think of this part of Wisconsin as having so many elevations, but on these rises, I can see 35 miles in each direction. Near the crest of a hill, the road seems to end in midair — like the steep hills in San Francisco or Seattle. I keep driving forward knowing the road will reappear and keep me moving on. The road is a lot like life with a big L. Sometimes it's impossible to see what's ahead. Sometimes what looks like a dead end is an illusion. You just have to keep moving forward because the next bend in the road could produce spectacular life events.

A friend once told me that to spend time and energy considering all the bad things that could happen, I must commit the same amount of time and energy considering all the wonderful things that want to happen. Traveling 138 is true to that exhortation. Just when the road seems about to end, it always offers another breathtaking scene. For as long as I have traveled this particular road, I've never memorized it — and I've never had to turn around or stop. I guess the secret is that the road is less important than the territory it bifurcates.

There is comfort in knowing that when I am traveling Highway 138, the fields — the very soil, the tree lines and habitats, the red tail hawks and cumulus clouds, all of it — feel like a part of me. And I savor the sensory language that makes me a part of it, too. Early in the mornings, sunrise on my left, haze still clinging earthwards, I am energized and prepared by the numinous land for a day of uncertain ends. On my way home, sunset on my left, my mind and my body are eased by the flow of green and deep earth browns, the fecund smells, and the softening light, and I know the soybeans and wheat and corn have grown since my last transit. A holy sense of appreciation for life with a big L rises through my body — just like the holy sense of growth and fecundity that remains constant in the terrain surrounding this particular road.

Graphics Credits

  • landscape, courtesy of George M. Bosela.
  • corn field, courtesy of Kenn Kiser.
Copyright / Terms of Use: Contributors retain the copyright to their work; please do not take art or words without the author's or artist's permission. Other graphics and reference materials are used and attributed as per the Fair Use Provision of The Copyright Act and individual terms of use.

MatriFocus Cross-Quarterly
is a seasonal web journal (zine) for Goddess Women and others interested in Goddess Lore and Scholarship, Goddess Religion (ancient and contemporary), Feminist Spirituality, Women's Mysteries, Paganism and Neopaganism, Earth-based Religions, Witchcraft, Dianic Wicca and other Wiccan Traditions, the Priestess Path, Goddess Art, Women's Culture, Women's Health, Natural Healing, Mythology, Female Shamanism, Consciousness, Community, Cosmology, and Women's Creativity.

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