Time erodes all things, and new things, harder things, spring forth from their remains.
Old Maize God was made of orange-painted plaster. I bought him for a dollar from a wandering huckster kid at the Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá and couldn’t work up the guts to toss him in the sacred cenoté. For three years, he guarded my garden from the likes of hungry wabbits, storm-felled trees and marauding bands of centaurs. But the winter of 2010 wormed its way through his plaster flesh, and he crumbled.
Young Maize God is carved from green-black jadeite, heavy and resilient as iron. I found him among the mazelike convolutions of market day in Chichicastenango, in the Guatemalan highlands. He’s done his best to take up the mantle of the old god—but come August, he and I must bid farewell to our much-loved little communal plot in the valley and travel east, back to the city, where fecundity will be restricted to a forest of pots on the back balcony.
Who knows what other change may come? Not I. Not he.