We are fortunate that our friends Chris and Karla open their home to an annual July 4th extravaganza giving us a front row seat for the Collins Park parade. Every year their drive way is lined with delicious foods. The smell of smoking meat wafts through the air originating from Chris’ industrial sized smoker which resembles a train engine with Chris the master engineer.
As I was pouring a glass of orange juice on that drive way Wednesday morning I found myself eye to eye with two tomato plants that made my heart stop. Lush thick green branches bowed under the weight of dozens of tomatoes many nearly ripe. In her typical modest way Karla said she didn’t think she had done anything particularly special other than adding marigolds to the plot. Yet her tomato plants have grown truly spectacular under her care.
My mind made a beeline across town to the dozen tomato plants growing in my own yard. I have been babying these plants along since March and not one could compare to Karla’s in either appearance or productivity. A pang of jealousy ran through me.
I was up early this morning watering the garden. I noticed that in the past week a lot of weeds have crept in beside my tomatoes. As I pulled I was surprised by how quickly the roots had sunk deep into the soil establishing themselves as part of the landscape. Clearly they were successfully sucking energy from my good plants.
I took a deep breath and said a small prayer thankful for this clear reminder. Feelings like envy and greed are quick to take hold in my life. They distract me from what is good and drain my energy for cultivating what is right.
I too will have homegrown tomatoes this summer. Maybe not as soon or as many as Karla, but that doesn’t matter. In the end I will have all I need. And they will taste sweet upon my lips.