After moving, pretty much the only thing I missed was passing the small rice field on my way to and from work.

Especially because October is when the rice turns from deep green to more of a celery color, and then a bright gold, before finally drying to a whitish-brown. Friday is a short day at work, so I packed my camera each morning, took a detour going home, hoping each time that it hadn’t been harvested, yet.

On one Saturday, I had to pick up a Rumi book I’d lent to someone who’d returned to Halifax and left it at a coffee shop just beside the fields. I talked EunBong into joining me, and I’m glad she did because the all the neighbors I’d met before were out digging up sweet potatoes and harvesting the sesame plants for oil. They were thrilled to see Fina in the garden and she got a good kick out of watching them pulling these strangely shaped pinkish things out of the ground. They gave us a bag to bring home, even though we tried several times to give them money, they wouldn’t take it. They said it was Korean culture, and they wanted to share.

The next week, I found the fringe of the paddy had been cut and was lying flat, drying. The week after that, it was all gone. Only the bits of the stalks just above the roots, pointing up in rounds clumps remained. the rest is probably bagged and stored somewhere already, food for another year.


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