Thursday, June 21, 2007

Becoming tomato

Here’s a tomato, on its way to becoming something red, juicy, edible. Raising tomatoes here is hard, though. I tried for several years and only got feeble results. Part of the problem was that the little yellow flowers would break off, thus not producing any fruit (tomatoes are technically fruit, you know). I tried the spray that’s supposed to prevent this, but the flowers would sigh during the night, and end it all anyway.

And, because this climate is hot and dry, it takes some gardening skill and talent (and possibly a good greenhouse) to grow tomatoes that are juicy and flavorful, rather than tasting like Styrofoam.

Not like the Midwest, where I grew up. There, nearly every summer produced bumper crops of big, juicy fragrant tomatoes. Freshly sliced for dinner, supper, and always at any type of potluck. Reminds me of summer evenings when the sun’s going down, lightning bugs flitting about, and in late summer, the drone of cicadas. Songs of frogs echo from the pond, the 10 p.m. train rushes by, the thunder of its wheels and whistle resounding over the hills. And if the night is clear, you can see the stars and planets; the Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Venus, Mars. And if it’s really clear, like after a storm has passed, and no moon, the sky is freckled with stars of all levels of radiance. And you understand why it’s called The Heavens.

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If life deals you lemons, make lemonade; if it deals you tomatoes, make Bloody Marys.
--David Levinthal

God's promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine.
--David Nicholas

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

to become a tomato means risking becoming salsa, hot, showy, bold, but with enough pepper to cover the debate about whether sweetness or sourness is essence, not a puritan's poison apple as much as a promise of days peppery, like many tongues not our own buzzing in a dream about harvests.