Today, I will pick cherry tomatoes from the garden. Although, I've never liked the taste. I grow them for my mother and C, they both know something about the taste of a tomato and how beautiful its color when caught in the light of day. I often find myself wishing I could learn how to like the things I don't. If only, the child who didn't like tomatoes always grew into the adult who does, as if everything in life is simply a choice we make.
"What do you mean you don't like tomatoes?" "But have you ever tried them like this?" "You just haven't had them prepared right." "I've got this great recipe..." I know people who will shout from the rooftops of their houses, calling down on those who don't feel or live as they do. I know many who are sugar-made, like the spoon which stirs the cereal, but they don't know how to love a world where somebody disagrees with them. If only, they could reveal to me how lovely a tomato tastes when it meets your tongue and teeth.
I'm guilty of it too. When we meet instrument-less friends at open mics, sometimes I want to encourage them to take up playing the guitar. I see their joy as they listen, hum and sway to the songs of others, but I am quick to dream of my own joy and how it grew when I took the leap from being the listening to the listened to. I forget to remember how beautiful it is to just listen to the music. I put myself first by pressing my own feelings onto others, as if I am the needle to the thread of their hearts.
Life is strange. People are strange. You may see the creek at your feet as a place for rest, others might call it too cold. You may belong to the banjo in ways you'll never belong to your friends, but others might think you sound out of tune. You can try to eat tomatoes for the tenth time, you can dress them, slice them, squeeze them, or salt them, but you can't make yourself like them.
When I see my mother and C taking bites out of the garden tomatoes, I feel their endless joy. This is all I need to believe tomatoes are lovely, lovely plants and I will grow them until I want to eat them too. Even if the day never comes.
There is beauty in knowing I have tried. There is beauty in our differences.