In the garden

I bury the remains of the mothers  -

The fish whose bones line the roots of my tomatoes-

That is how I pray

 

I kneel in the soft earth and look

Through the lattice of dark green leaves

There, yellow as buttercups in the sun,

Incipient fruit

Await the annunciation

 

I can already sense the bulging clusters

I take my well-sharpened scissors

And make space for the new life

Carefully pruning away the excess

To leave the essential

 

Isn’t it so with life?

 

I did an experiment once

I let the tomatoes grow wild

Leaves and suckers,

Fruit and flowers

In a profligate jungle

It was a beautiful mess

But I didn’t get many tomatoes

 

Life needs us to tend it

To feed and to prune

To discern what hinders

And what allows growth

 

It is a science and an art

that must be practiced each year anew

You cannot take it for granted

Each plant needs to be seen for itself

Not just a tomato plant

But this one

With the stem leaning this way or that

And my job is to sculpt it so its natural way

Can produce the most tomatoes

Not only for me and my table

But for the sheer joy of the plant itself

"This is how I grow best".

Me too!

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