Saturday, July 20, 2019
A friend of mine gave me a tomato bought at a farm stand near her house. I was flabbergasted by its size. I hoped, since it was small and local, that it was organic but I accepted it with gratitude and served it for dinner. It tasted good, not a doubt, but there was something missing – it wasn’t eaten fresh-picked. That, I discovered, was the secret to taste.
I planted some heirlooms this season and had an incredible Jubilee tomato. It wasn’t nearly as large as my friend’s gift and it was orange, not red, but oh, what flavor. It went from plant to plate to mouth. I had to close my eyes to savor its flavor as the juice dribbled down my throat. I’m eagerly waiting for the others to ripen so I can enjoy the experience again.
But the original tomato gift had something to offer besides just its taste. It was offered with kindness and enthusiasm. As I ate each bite, I remembered our friendship and valued all that we have shared over the years. It was as much a treat in its own way as the heirloom tomato was. I think if we pay attention to the wholeness of what we experience, life ripens in our hearts as well as in our gardens.