In The Cool Of The Day

We were walking in the cool of the day. It lasts for a brief moment. And in a flash, the beans tower high above our heads. Big beans hang lonely -- unreachable. They will be the ones we save and dry for next year. The squashes -- bright green and shades of yellow -- swell before we can snap dinner from the vine.  We beg the tomatoes to turn red and collect yet another bunch of cucumbers for pickling.

The garden. We walk along and watch and wait and collect. Such peace and contentment and confidence. We can’t get enough of it. Tomatoes at every meal.

Then we notice the worms. The shredded tomato leaves and bored holes in the fruit. Down on hands and knees, we start plucking and squashing and smushing and shouting, “Here’s another!”

Our garden stroll is over. The heat rises and the peaceful walk turns into an emergency debugging project. We are avoiding pesticides. Even if we think it would be good to save the tomatoes with a few speckles of 7 Dust, we can’t. The bees. It will kill them.

 I think about one of the first stories recorded. The one of a glorious garden. Man and woman walking in the cool of the day, through the garden. They didn’t have to stop and pick off bugs or worry about weeds. It was perfect, but that wasn’t enough. They decided to stop and pick and eat and then it was over.

Now we crawl on our knees and pick and pull and worry and fight and curse at the fight for the fruit.
So, the place being prepared for us. . . I don’t think it is a castle. I think it is a row of perfectly plump tomatoes ripe and juicy without a bug or weed around. I will walk in the cool of the day and wait for the arrival of the Gardner for a grand tour.


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