Cherry Tomatoes 

With scalpel-like precision, Chris divided our first juicy, little, tomato  precisely in two.  We decorated the plates with home grown basil and patted each other on the back as if we were prize winning farmers!  Taking mouse-sized bites, we savored the tomato as if we had never eaten one before.

Remember back when?  

We’ll run out of food!”                                                                              “Our adult children will move back in with us!”                                            “We’ll never be able to buy toilet paper again!” 

These were some of the early fears that many people have, indeed, had to face, but mercifully they haven’t come true yet for us.  It occurred to me that there’s been so much emphasis on fear and loss, and perhaps not enough on courage and commitment.  A lot of focus on the big losses and, perhaps, too little on the small gains.

I come to Colorado to be in the great outdoors. Although I don’t ride I have visions of crossing the high plains on horseback with, maybe, a cowgirl hat tipped at a rakish angle on my head. Or careening down the white water in a raft or fragile kayak.  True, we do hike to high places, and fish in trout stocked lakes – but this year, only when we can fit it into the demands of cultivating our garden.

Previously neither of us had much experience at gardening, and Chris seemed a touch surprised when a whole tray of seeds failed to germinate. Our begonias were first sun-scorched, and then provided a succulent tidbit for the resident deer, and the zucchini that was hailed as indestructible shed its blossoms, curled up its leaves and faded away. Nevertheless, there were successes. Chris found enormous satisfaction in building a handrail so I can safely get down from our new deck (no, he didn’t build the deck and the pergola). I photographed the crew hauling away the enormous pile of rocks I had pried out of the ground. Chris took delight when the cats demolished the cat nip he had planted specifically for their pleasure. Every day, I visited the sunflowers I grew from seed – eagerly measuring them by body part. “They’re at hip height, chest, nose – Chris we’ll have to use your body parts – Oh no! you’ll have to wear a top hat! Chris they are spectacular!”

It’s no exaggeration to say that we found unexpected joy in growing things. A joy we realized, with some sadness, that is a privilege to which many don’t have access, for numerous reasons.

And if growing things is a joy – eating that cherry tomato fell little short of ecstasy!

We hope, in spite of everything, you’ve also found some small, perhaps unlikely, compensations and a sprinkling of joy.

End Notes


Everyday Ubuntu: Living better together, the African way
Nompumelelo Mungi Ngomane


Call it Home by The California Honeydrops 

Now’s the Time by Charlie Parker  


Wild Combination: A Portrait of the Life of Arthur Russell

Chef’s Table 


Mary Oliver reads “Wild Geese” on “On Being”

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