Friday, June 29, 2007

Middle-Aged Pleasures

I have two kinds of tomato plants this year: deliberate and accidental.

Two Bushy Beef plants, bred for containers, I planted in an EarthBox that a brochure persuaded me to buy. I didn't plant any Tommy Toes, a cherry-sized Ozark heirloom vine tomato, but this spring their seeds, left in the compost pile, gave birth to six fine plants -- a surprise.

I watered every evening -- saw no fruits. I checked the plants every morning for deer damage -- no fruits. I went away overnight and suddenly -- after 4 inches of rain in 24 hours -- appeared those lovely green pearls that are tomato fruits in bud. I am especially thrilled, I guess, because this is my first tomato garden.

Gardening is such a middle-aged pleasure. It's like crafts, or collecting, or taking up watercolors, or birdwatching -- those things middle-aged people do. They are fun, but they're not really about fun, or teenagers would want to do them. Middle-aged pleasures are about appreciation. Everyday things, everyday tools, everyday sights, just plain dirt and water, can miraculously become portals to something much larger: nature, art, history, the universe. Welcoming my new tomatoes is more fun than I ever had when, way back in time, I was trying to unravel the great mysteries by means of cars, parties, and beer.

1 comment:

Paula said...

"Middle-aged pleasures are about appreciation" - I really love and relate to that! Very wise! Sometimes the beauty and perfection of things - like sitting in the sun and looking at weeds poking through cracked concrete, overwhelms me! Regards, Paula