As my second summer of homegrown tomatoes draws to an end, I feel confident of one thing: my favorite part of gardening, without question, is this: harvest.
There’s something very wonderful about bringing in baskets of fresh, juicy, totally ripe, red tomatoes, something that makes you feel successful, useful, productive. True, I had very little to do with these giant plants. Other than some watering, some watching, a little weeding, a little worrying, I didn’t do anything to make them grow. The sunshine, the rain—oh, the glorious rain this summer!, the good soil, the lack of animals… all these elements worked together to do something so commonplace, so ordinary that it’s been being done since God created plants.
But, really, trust me, it doesn’t matter how textbook you try to make this gardening thing. When you, with little knowledge and skill, plant some small greens in your yard, hoping and wondering what can happen, dreaming of caprese salads and homemade sauces and delicious pastas, and you water your greens, with nothing happening for weeks, but then one day, you see the budding of a fruit—come back to me and say you weren’t astounded, weren’t amazed, weren’t positively joyful to see that something so wonderful can come from something so small.
Tell me, as the proud harvester of baskets and baskets of fruit, that you aren’t reduced to sheer awe at the way God created the world.
I believe there’s something in us that delights to see the miracle of life, of creation. There’s something that knows, face to face with spindly vines, that we’re a small part of something beautiful.