Arts and Entertainment

CELESTIAL MUSINGS | Follow the chickens to the exit?

Navigating the corn stalks. - Celeste Cornish/What
Navigating the corn stalks.
— image credit: Celeste Cornish/What's Up

My son sprang out of the backseat of my car, eager for an adventure. Anxious for fun, he put his hand in mine and tugged me just enough to let me know that I wasn’t moving fast enough to his satisfaction.

The Minder Farms corn maze awaited, with it lure of cornstalks tall enough to get lost and hide in. Our annual trip into the corn maze was about to begin, and we both were caught in the excitement.

Last year, we put off the trip too long and the crisp of fall set in. We froze the entire time. This year, a quick weather check (Joshua is fascinated by the weather) pointed to a warm, sunny day.

After paying the guy at the cash register, we headed to the entrance.

Joshua looked up at me and, with all the authority he could muster, requested I kindly let him lead. I agreed.

Armed with a corn maze card to punch the checkpoint numbers as we found them and a Nikon D40, which I never leave home without, off we went into the maze.

Joshua asked me to take a picture of the map so we’d have it with us. Thinking he wanted to use the map to find the checkpoints, I praised him for having such a great idea and snapped a couple of pictures.

It didn’t take long to realize Joshua was not at all interesting in actually finding the checkpoints. He was more interested in what we’d ecounter as we wandered through the cornstalks without any specific purpose.

“Joshua,” I prodded, pointing somewhere-over-thereish, “I think the first checkpoint is back here.

“Yeah, it is,” he confirmed, heading the exact opposite direction. “Let’s not worry about the checkpoints, mom.” Done deal, although I wasn’t exactly sure what we were looking for.

That became quickly apparent. We were looking for anything interesting, dirty or funny.

Don’t judge. He’s 8.

When we accidentally happened upon checkpoint three, we took the time to punch our tickets. I couldn’t help but notice Joshua seemed a bit disappointed by our discovery. That’s not what he was there for.

As we headed back off into the maze with the specific intention of getting lost, he delighted in every ear of corn lying on the ground as that was not where they were supposed to be. Joshua loves all things chaos. Where there is no chaos, he creates it himself.

We rounded a corner somewhere in the middle — though, to be honest, it felt like we were somewhere in the middle the whole time — and right in the middle of the path two chickens and a rooster were waddling and clucking their way somewhere.

“Let’s pet them!” Joshua suggested. I promptly shot down that idea explaining that chickens can be tempermental.

A few paces away, he peered through the cornstalks and spotted cows. At which point he turned to me and said, “I’m done. Can you find our way out?”

So, with about an hour’s worth of corn maze dirt on our shoes and four of eight checkpoints found, we headed for the exit. He’d had all the fun he could stand.

He also taught me something in the process. Not all who wander are lost. Sometimes they’re just in a corn maze.

CHECK OUT THESE CORN MAZES:

Minder Farms: 1000 Gluds Pond Road, Bremerton, www.mindermeats.com.

Pheasant Fields Farm: 13274 Clear Creek Road NW, Silverdale, www.pheasantfields.com.

Sunrise Hill Farm: 11033 NE Tulin Road, Kingston, www.sunrisehillfarm.org.

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