Late in the spring, I purchased six tomato plants. I knew we probably didn’t need six, but they were small, packaged in a six-plant pallet that was easy to carry. A few days later, the other members of our family planted those plants in the small garden plot that sits in our back yard. And since then, thanks almost entirely to Mother Nature – and minimally to any of us – those plants have thrived. Nearly every day, the kids go outside and discover another bowl-full of the red fruits ready to be picked.
We have made huge batches of gazpacho. I enjoy a deliciously juicy tomato sandwich (mayo, salt, pepper) at least once each day. Graham places sliced tomato as a side item on our breakfast plates. The kids have left bags of tomatoes on each of our neighbors’ front porches. We took a box full to the Black Lives Matter vigil on August 13. I’ve brought a bowl full to the UUCC office. (Thank you for helping yourselves!)
It’s a beautiful and delicious bounty – almost overwhelming.
And it’s a healthy antidote to my weariness and cynicism.
It’s a tangible symbol of the beauty and life and nourishment that I wish were real for every human being, no matter their age or ability or gender or skin color or cultural heritage or economic status.
It’s a sweet reminder, in my more despairing moments, of why I keep choosing to remain engaged, doing even the smallest acts of justice and kindness and mercy, even when I feel weary and cynical.
And so, as we begin another program year together at UUCC – my 15th with you! – I intend to stay grounded in an earthly, life-giving beauty. May we all be so nourished.
Page, Congratulations on entering your 15th year at UUCC! You have led UUCC in making important positive marks on Columbia, Howard County, and to many individuals beyond. Thank you for your service and love. Gene Berg
When it comes to lifting spirits, Mother Nature does it every time.
P.S. Molto Mario has a great recipe for Tagliatelle Bolognese.