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the sparrow dress | garden tomatoes

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.

About a dream.

I sit beside the window which looks onto the garden. I see and hear nothing but rain falling from the sky. Under these grey clouds, I live and I wonder, what is it about rainfall that makes me want to slip underneath bed sheets and sleep until tomorrow? When the rain begins, I can feel my able body slowly beginning to sink into itself, as if I had drank a quart of moonshine. I want nothing, I need nothing, only the sound of rain as my lullaby and a pillow near my head. If you told me Mother Goose lives in the sound of raindrops, I would believe you.

This morning, I arose from a dream about a bone dry riverbed. I came to it unannounced like I often do in my dreams, no clue as to where I was going, all I could see was a long stretch of desert where water was supposed to be. I wanted to swim. I wanted to hear my own beating heart below the water, maybe catch a wild trout with my bare hands. I wanted all of these things, but I could not have them, not even in my own dream, because the river was empty. If those of us landlocked cannot dream of full rivers, if those of us sea bound cannot dream of the prairies, then our dreams become meaningless. What would be the point of a dream if it was painted with the same brush as our every day lives?

When I opened my eyes, the window which looks onto the garden was covered in rain. I could feel my able body slowly begin to sink into itself. I wondered how I could dream of a bone dry riverbed when the world around me looked like an ocean. C turned to me as he always does when the sun first blushes and asked me what I was thinking of. I tell him the story. As I began to speak, it made even less sense to me. What could be the meaning of a dream which only leaves you feeling empty?

I realize now, as I look longingly onto the garden, a place where tomato plants burst and bloom like tiny emblems of a passing summer. Maybe, the dream only hollers of my wish to be swimming, to always be summer bound, and to be free as the apron which flour spills onto. Maybe, the dream is less of a dream and more of a tiny siren song warning me to live a little louder before the riverbed dries.

Here I am. Here is where I'll always be. The only thing that changes is the way I see it.

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