There were a lot of things growing while I was in the Wilderness, tomatoes, courgettes, lettuce, weeds, to name a few. Each night as I watered the plants in the greenhouse I was able to notice their progress. At first I just noticed the one orange ripening tomato and little yellow flowers. Then I noticed a hidden green tomato. It was green so it blended in with the leaves. But then I started to notice the flowers as they turned from bright yellow into dull green… into tomatoes.
(The yellow flowers turning as they become tomatoes)
Of course, I’ve done biology in school and I know that the bees and other insects pollinate the flowers and that’s how the fruit is created but seeing it happen in front of my eyes made me pause…. The same thing was happening outside with the courgettes. As the beautiful orange-yellow flower was dying it was being pushed forward by the growth of a little courgette plant. The courgette plants didn’t even have the benefit of the warmth of the greenhouse or the regularity of my watering (although the rain was pretty regular.) They just got on with the job with only nature to assist.
(One of the flowers has turned into a tomato)
Each day as I wandered around outside, chatting with the hens or just experiencing the calm I noticed these growing things and I wondered what I was noticing. Was it the fading colours of young flowers turning into the nourishing strength of fruit and vegetable? Was it the power of nature that allowed the plants to do their thing? Was it the daily slow growth step by hidden step that resulted in bounty? Was it the cycle of planting a seed, feeding it, watering it, giving it light and heat, allowing it to produce?
(The courgette… notice the little plant at the base of the flower)
Was it the intention of the grower, one day long ago who decided he really wanted to grow tomatoes and he took the first step and bought the seeds? When the grower returned to only one ripe tomato he told me that he had met a woman on his travels who had decided she wanted tomatoes. She took a lot less care than the grower and already within a very short time she was collecting and sharing lots of ripe tomatoes. She lived in a place with lots of sun. Growth is taking a little longer in Ireland this year… lucky us, we get time to enjoy every step of the cycle!
“….the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now…” African Proverb.
Plant your seed, Mairead.