Dreams of Beginning, Part Two
16 April 1830
In his dream, Joseph stands in the middle of a great field of wheat. Emma is beside him, and there is no one else in sight, maybe on earth. He reaches out and runs his palms across the grains. He can taste something in his mouth: touching this wheat tastes like honey. He wants to tell Emma about this, but when he looks at her, he realizes she already knows: that’s why they’re in this field. The sun is warm, and the wheat is high, and he knows that it’s time for the harvest.
Then Joseph’s father is there and Joseph Knight is there and they ask him how to cut the grain gently so the honey taste won’t go. And Joseph says: I don’t know how; I’m still young; you’re the experienced farmers. He says to his father: you taught my brothers how to cut the wheat, and they taught me. He looks at Joseph Knight and says Didn’t you teach your sons?
Touching the wheat never tasted like honey before, they say to him.
Emma smiles, and the light behind her hair says Hurry. He looks back to the wheat, and it says: Don’t worry. People have done this before, long ago, longer than your father’s fathers know.