posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 06:08 PM
I consider the fall to be the best season of the year. I know, many will disagree with me, what with all the raking of leaves and having to get
everything in order for the coming winter. I don’t mind that though. I love it because of the tomatoes.
Tomatoes start to get pretty good by late summer but when early fall comes around they are fantastic. Having ripened on the vine they hang there like
the very promise of paradise, just waiting to be savored in sauces or piled high on sandwiches. They always take me back to my childhood when I would
get them from my Grandfathers garden, slice an entire plate full and eat them like candy.
I remember a few summers ago, about fifteen or so, I had come from my garden with a real beauty. It was Ripened to perfection and glistening with the
morning dew. I got a plate, knife and the saltshaker and sat down for a genuine feast when my niece walked up.
Martha was about eight years old with bob cut blond hair and her mother’s gift for letting you know how big of a screw up you were. Still, she was
the daughter of my wife’s brother who also happened to be my best friend at the time so I had to tolerate the little brat.
“Yuck!” she blurted out, “Tomatoes taste horrible.”
I had begun to slice this very gift from the heavens into bite size chunks and tried to ignore her. She stood there watching me like I was committing
a moral sin and she was going to record it in some good book somewhere.
“I always tell them no tomatoes when I get something to eat.” She started in again. “They taste terrible.”
“That’s because you’ve never eaten a tomato.” I could hold my tongue no longer. “What you’ve had is that junk they sell in the store and
only call tomato’s but they’re not.”
“Oh they look like tomato’s, they feel like tomato’s but they’re not really tomato’s. Corporations grow them in a field like tomato’s but
then they pick them still green, put them in a truck which they pump full of nitrogen which turns them red and then they put them on a shelf and sell
them to people with no taste buds. Those aren’t tomatos. This is a tomato.”
I raised my fork with a chunk of the juiciest, plumpest piece of my gardens harvest and held it out to her. She just stared at me for a moment and I
was actually beginning to hope she would just walk away but instead she took the fork and ate what I had been hoping to eat myself.
There’s nothing quite like seeing a child get a taste of the divine. Her face lit up and she began chewing faster and faster and then tried to
spear another chunk off the plate. I grabbed her hand, motioned towards a chair and she sat. Then I got another fork and we split the tomato as I told
her about how people who pick tomatoes green and turn them red with gas should be taken out and horse whipped. It’s a desecration no less.
When she went home that evening she took the best tomatoes in my garden with her.
I’ll never forget the look on her face though in the instant that she realized what she’d been missing. I’ve often seen it on the faces of
people who experience true spirituality for the first time.
There seems to be a real hunger for spirituality these days and whenever there is a demand a supply will rise to meet it. Many who dream of being a
spiritual corporation will pick what they want to preach while its still green, then ripen it artificially and sell it to any and all they can pawn it
off on. Sure, it looks pretty and even feels right, but the flavor and substance just aren’t there.
I believe your soul is the garden upon which you plant the seeds of your growth. That’s not something you can buy in a store or have handed to you
by another person.
It’s a seed that you have germinated in your very heart. Slowly you’ve nurtured it along and tended its needs. Staking it up where its droopy and
all the while praying and hoping and dreaming of what and how it will be.
Then one day it matures into a lesson or idea or belief that came not from another but from the care and sweat of your own brow. No finer lesson is
there to be learned than the one that brings you the true taste of your own divine nature. In that moment of understanding your face lights up like
you’d just bitten into the sweetest vine ripened tomato. Only better.
Virtually all of the great philosophers throughout the ages have said to look within for your answers.
I think I’m finally coming to understand what they mean.
Love and light,