High Cotton

The corn is harvested and the hay is baled. The dried up corn stalks are tied to lamp posts downtown on Main Street and the square hay bales line the sides of a trailer for a hayride. Scarecrows and Jack-o-lanterns greet the shoppers as they stroll along the brick sidewalks.

But the cotton hasn’t been harvested. Not all of it anyway. It’s snowy white in the fields on my country roads. Before it’s harvested I pull to the side of the road, walk into the field and get a stalk of cotton to place in an old milk jar for a fall decoration in my living room.

The plants burst with the fluffy white stuff, so the big machines are ready to do their work. After the machines roll over the fields all that’s left is acres and acres of flattened brown stalks fading into the landscape. The cotton is baled into huge rectangles. They wait there in the fields until trucks pick them up and haul them away.

I drive past these fields every ordinary day unaware of all that happens there. This is a family’s livelihood and hard work. I forget sometimes that what comes from those fields will be made into tee shirts and blankets and warm cozy socks.

We were walkin’ in high cotton,
Old times there are not forgotten,
Those fertile fields are never far away.

    From High Cotton by Alabama

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  1. Debbie on October 17, 2015 at 12:03 am

    Love that photo of the cotton balls! Looks so soft, like you could just curl up and have sweet dreams upon it….

  2. Raspberry on October 17, 2015 at 1:00 am

    they look like little balls of cotton candy!

  3. Lyle on October 17, 2015 at 8:51 am

    This was great and it brought back a lot of childhood memories of my grandparents who were poor bear foot cotton farmers who thought they were living in high cotton and as it turns out in things that really matter they were.

    • mariegriffith on October 17, 2015 at 8:58 am

      You’re right Lyle. We could learn some important lessons from your grandparents. Learning to be grateful and content should be the first one.

  4. Expectational on October 17, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    As a northerner I wonder where the phrase “high cotton” comes from and what it means.

    • mariegriffith on October 17, 2015 at 10:53 pm

      The term means “doing well” as in the cotton crop is growing well and the prices are high. The cotton farmers were in “high cotton.”

  5. Jane Lurie on October 17, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    Terrific shots, Marie. I was fascinated by cotton fields the first time I saw them driving through the south.

  6. dawnlizjones on October 18, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Oh so pretty! And what I take for granted. Just updated my blogroll and added your great site. Appreciate your influence on the web!

    • mariegriffith on October 18, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      Dawn you are so sweet. Thank you for your encouragement. It means more than you know.

  7. Sue on September 30, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Lovely post!

    • mariegriffith on September 30, 2016 at 2:29 pm

      Thank you Sue. I’ve seen these cotton fields all my life!

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  9. Jenny on February 16, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    Learning about life elswhere is what I love about blogging. Never seen cotton or heard of ‘high cotton’ Interesting read.

    • mariegriffith on February 16, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      Thank you Jenny. I love that part of blogging too. Among many other wonderful things. I’ve learned a great deal about many things from my blogging community.

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