Can a production facility be beautiful?
Out here it can – strange, and noisy, but shining piles of sulphate of potash – potassium sulphate, wonderful, natural, organic fertiliser harvested from salt pans on the edge of Salt Lake. You drive along the narrow dykes, and there are wild fowl on one side, and unearthly icebergs of crystal created when the pans dry out under the sun on the other.
It is the company’s fortieth anniversary this September, and we had the privilege of interviewing quite a few of the original workers, and the men who started the company. It was so moving, especially as we drove out ten miles along the dykes to the very spot where they started. I really felt we were recording history.
We couldn’t film anything rusty – I think rust is beautiful, so here is my silent protest from China Camp.
Have I mentioned how many babies there are in Utah? Families are close, early marriage is encouraged and in a lot of ways I can see the point. Thought provoking.
We sat next to a lovely mother of five well-behaved children on the way out, and on the way back I was next to a darling little girl only ten weeks old, and her mother. The baby decided she liked me and was all chuckles and smiles as I held her, but threw up all over me. It really didn’t matter as we had been filming in a dairy farm that morning and were unmentionable already, no time to change as we raced for the airport – I drove at eighty all the way… slurry on the boots and an unfortunate incident with cow pee (the cows were elevated in the milking shed), so what is a little innocent baby burp?
From Oakland we drove home just as the sun was setting, on tenterhooks as the car had started making a very funny noise as we drove towards the airport, three days earlier. It still clanked while idling, but I concentrated on the city skyline, purple against glowing clouds and a piercingly blue sky, and the hint of danger made it all even more beautiful, trying not to think about the horse going home to Tara in Gone with the Wind. I fell asleep just thrilling with gratitude: for where I live, for unexpected beauty, for interesting work and wonderful clients, babies and horses and cows and organic fertiliser.